"As an organization of insurance agents and risk managers, we felt it was important to act. The risk is real, the consequences are devastating.”
Itasca, IL (PRWEB) June 29, 2011
According to the latest government statistics, 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashes, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes).*
A ZoomSafer survey released last month shows that 32 percent of companies have knowledge or evidence of on-the-job crashes that have occurred as a result of distractions stemming from
employee use of cell phones while driving. Of those companies, nearly 8 percent of respondents have faced plaintiff’s litigation as a result of such crashes.
The National Safety Council (NSC) is launching its “On the Road, Off the Phone” program from June 26-30 to coincide with National Safety Month – an annual observance to educate and influence behaviors around the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. ARM applauds the efforts of the NSC and would like to take this opportunity to remind ARM members and their customers to practice safe driving habits and to promote safe driving within our families and communities.
Distracted driving habits are not limited to cell phone use. In fact, changing the radio station, MP3 player, or GPS coordinates also remove the driver’s attention from the highway. The problem outpaces driving while under the influence of alcohol – independent studies suggest that reaction times of impaired drivers, while significantly slower than sober drivers, pale in comparison to the reaction times of drivers who text while driving.
ARM supports efforts by individual states to ban the use of cell phones and electronic distractions while driving. To that end, ARM encourages member agencies and their customers to adopt and enforce cell phone use policies among all their employees and fleet drivers.
“The act of talking on a phone in a car, hands free or not, is one of convenience, not safety,” says Craig Payan, Chairman of ARM. “Do driver’s education classes teach new drivers how to talk and drive at the same time? No, they teach concentration, focus, safety and defensive driving, all with the overriding intent to avoid accidents. All that work is thrown to the wind when a driver gets in a car and starts talking on the phone.”
As the industry’s leading network association for insurance agents and risk management professionals, ARM is dedicated to educating members, customers, and the public at large on critical safety issues that affect our communities.
Says Payan, “As an organization of insurance agents and risk managers, we felt it was important to act. The risk is real, the consequences are devastating.”
Associated Risk Managers International, Inc. (ARM) is the nation's foremost independent agency network, representing over 200 independent member organizations, 22 states, and $4 billion annually in premium volume. For more information on ARM, contact Scott Spangler, ARM Partners, Two Pierce Place, 20th Floor, Itasca, IL 60143-3141. Phone: 630-285-4324. http://www.armiweb.com Strong as Many. Powerful as One.
- Statistics provided by The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration.