Regardless of the type of wheel you find yourself behind, distracted driving has become an all-too-common occurrence on North American roadways. Schneider, a premier provider of transportation, logistics and intermodal services, recognized this disturbing trend nearly a decade ago and began implementing ways to combat it – including a formal policy prohibiting professional driver associates from using cell phones while on the road. Enacted in 1999, Schneider’s policy was in effect a full 12 years before prohibiting cell phone use while driving became a federal mandate.
The company will use National Distracted Driving Awareness Month as a platform to reinforce the importance of safety within its culture. All associates will be presented with information around the very real dangers of distracted driving, so they can elect to pledge to maintain situational awareness while on the road.
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that could divert attention away from the primary task of driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are 660,000 drivers on the roads at any given moment of the day who are engaged in texting, tweeting, making phone calls or otherwise using technology in a way that distracts them from driving.
With its number one core value of Safety First and Always, Schneider is eager to combat these risky behaviors. Throughout the month, Schneider will encourage associates to put down the phone and avoid other distractions by signing the Schneider Pledge. The pledge asks associates to lead by example by driving distraction-free and maintaining constant situational awareness while on the road.
Additionally, the company will distribute daily email messages about distracted driving and engage associates in fun and informative activities designed to address the visual, manual and cognitive types of distraction drivers face. Associates can participate in an online simulator that assesses their ability to drive and text and play a special edition of trivia that puts their driving knowledge to the test. Common myths (such as “drivers can multitask” and “hands-free devices eliminate the danger of cell phone use while driving”) will be dispelled as they work through these activities. Lastly, Schneider will provide associates with solutions for mitigating distractions while behind the wheel. These ideas range from allowing a passenger to operate the phone to putting it in the trunk to avoid any temptation.
“Multitasking has become a way of life, especially through the use of smartphones,” said Tom DiSalvi, vice president of safety and loss prevention at Schneider. “We feel compelled to stay connected, but the truth of the matter is that our brains simply cannot handle two tasks at the same time that require thinking. Safety is of the utmost importance to our organization, and we need to live that core value on every level.”
Echoing Schneider’s desire to make the roads a safer place is David Pabst, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Safety.
“The dangers of distracted driving are not exaggerated and are a growing threat to everyone on the road,” said Pabst. “In 2015, 10,615 people in Wisconsin were injured in distracted driving crashes, and 94 people were killed. Driving requires a person’s full attention. Creating a culture of transportation safety for employees, especially as it relates to the serious issue of distracted driving, is a commendable aspect to cultivate and reinforce.”
Upholding safety is a core value day-in and day-out at Schneider, and the company’s activities offered in April, in addition to an infographic that captures the dangers of distracted driving, will reinforce the importance of walking the talk when it comes to safety behind the wheel. Whether operating a big rig or a personal vehicle, putting the phone away and keeping the essential trio for safe driving in mind – eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving – are absolute musts.
Schneider is a premier provider of transportation and logistics services. Offering one of the broadest portfolios in the industry, Schneider’s solutions include Regional and Long-Haul Truckload, Expedited, Dedicated, Bulk, Intermodal, Brokerage, Warehousing, Supply Chain Management and Port Logistics.
With nearly $5 billion in annual revenue, Schneider has been safely delivering superior customer experiences safely for over 80 years.
For more information about Schneider, visit Schneider.com or follow the company socially on LinkedIn and Twitter: @WeAreSchneider.
Drivers who want to learn more about joining a company whose core value puts a premium of safety should visit schneiderjobs.com.