Billboard for a Funeral Home
The power of advertising billboards attract attention. This billboard ad certainly caused distracted driving for many drivers on the Gardiner Expressway and also at Albion Rd. at Steeles Ave in metro Toronto earlier this year. A social media, print and television media frenzy followed as the billboards certainly drew lots of attention as a dark morbid advertisement that perhaps was over the edge. Truly the billboard was brilliant, really who wouldn’t look at this billboard as they were driving by ?
If you did a internet search on the funeral home, you would come across their website to soon discover that this entire advertising campaign was to draw peoples attention to the dangers of distracted driving with cellphones.
The funeral home is not real, however the message needs to get out there that distracted driving from cellphone use is a true and a very real concern.
Statistics are showing in most provinces in Canada more people will die from distracted driving than by drinking and driving and speeding combined, that is worrisome !
Here at Nova Scotia Trucking Safety Association we have a distracted driving policy in place. We are a small operation with 3 employees and several contracted employees. One contracted employee would not sign the distracted driving policy, that employee has moved on to other contract work.
In our numerous commutes around the province, we witness cars and commercial vehicles with drivers talking on the phone more often then not.
From a company perspective employees talking/texting on a cellphone while operating any commercial vehicle present a huge liability issue that companies need to manage the risks posed by distracted driving.
Court cases in Canada have financial settlements due to accidents caused by distracted driving from cellphone use, reaching over the $1,000,000 yes one million dollar range ! Settlement awards from courts in addition to the press that will no doubt come from court proceedings could cripple a company very quickly.
Companies must act to eliminate the liability issue and also protect the company and fellow employees from accidents related to distracted driving. Most people when surveyed will admit to using a cellphone in one way or another while driving, which we know is wrong however many people continue to be distracted by their cellphone.
Companies big and small, employees, mothers, fathers and young drivers must work to reduce and eliminate the distraction by putting the cellphone away, shutting it off or by using one of several different apps and methods to eliminate the distraction while operating any vehicle.
Lives depend on this, please do not become a statistic for distracted driving.