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Effectiveness: 2 Star Cost: $
Use: Unknown
Time: Short

This countermeasure involves State-based programs that address job-related distracted driving, which may pose a liability risk to employers. Employers can protect themselves by implementing policies that prohibit distracted driving and by monitoring compliance. There are many ways States can work with employers to address distracted driving. Some States such as Delaware and Kentucky have corporate outreach program staff devoted to distracted driving (GHSA, 2013). The programs usually involve dissemination of traffic safety material to employers, or sometimes directly to the employees themselves. States can also assist employers in promoting and enforcing policies to reduce distracted driving. Legally, employers can be held accountable for employees who are using a cell phone (or otherwise distracted) and who are involved in a crash as part of their work (NSC, 2015).

Various resources are available to employers to develop and maintain programs to prevent distracted driving. The NSC (2023) has created a free Safe Driving Kit that includes resources for building leadership support for a cell phone policy and tools to communicate to employees. The NETS program founded by NHTSA and led by private employers provides various training and outreach material for member organizations, including a distracted driving module (NETS, 2017). The National Distracted Driving Coalition (Robertson et al., 2022) has sample workplace policies for distracted driving. New Jersey has developed a sample cell phone use policy for businesses (New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety & Division of Highway Traffic Safety, n.d.). The Texas Department of Insurance (n.d.) presents guidelines that employers may consider when incorporating measures to curb distracted driving by employees, including a sample agreement policy on on-the-job device use that should be signed by both employer and employee.


At least 17 States and the District of Columbia have worked with employers in their States to develop distracted driving policies (GHSA, 2013). At the Federal level, agencies including the Federal Railroad Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have passed rules that prohibit texting or using handheld cell phones while driving (Restrictions on Railroad Operating Employees, 2011).


Few employer distracted driving programs have been systematically evaluated. Owens Corning used the NSC Safe Driving Kit to develop a cell phone policy for their drivers. The company reported a 95% reduction in reportable injuries (NSC, 2014a, 2014b), although it is not clear how much of this reduction could be attributed to the cell phone policy. Cummins, Inc., also used the NSC Safe Driving Kit with its 48,000 employees. It reported a decline in crash rates following the new cell phone policy, but specific numbers were not provided (NSC, 2015).


In comprehensive programs that are available at no cost, expenses will consist only of material production and employer time for training.

Time to Implement:

An employer program can be implemented within 3 months.