Handling the logistics of transporting goods and raw materials through surface shipping can be a lucrative business model. Your company hires drivers and maintains a fleet, all while earning money for every mile those workers drive or every load that they deliver.
Unfortunately, running a commercial shipping business also means assuming substantial liability risks. Transportation companies can sometimes face massive personal injury claims. If one of their drivers or one of their vehicles is the cause of a crash, the company may face claims against their insurance policies or even a lawsuit in civil court.
Your company likely already has policies created to limit liability for known issues, like drunk driving. Having a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol use while at work or in the hours leading up to a trip is a common rule. Your company can also have rules that will make it easier for you to uphold the federal no-text rule for your drivers, which can limit your liability for a distracted employee.
Have an internal policy forbidding mobile phone use at the wheel
The simplest way to compel your drivers to comply with the no-text law or at least limit your company’s liability if they don’t follow it is to have a written policy. It should state that workers cannot use mobile devices while actively in control of vehicles unless they use specific hands-free systems.
Making every employee sign an agreement that says they will not use their devices at the wheel or showing that your company enforces a no-text policy could help you defend against claims that your company contributed to a distracted driving collision.
Look into technical solutions
There are different technological options that could help prevent your drivers from using mobile devices at the wheel. Upgrading your vehicle so that they have integrated hands-free systems is one option. You could also use monitoring systems to determine if someone inappropriately uses their devices while in one of your vehicles.
Proactively preventing distraction-related crashes will help your company defend its reputation and finances. Trying to eliminate distracted driving crashes is a good move for many transportation companies, as it may limit liability for crashes that drivers cause.