ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Mechanical Contractors Association of America (MCAA) expanded its efforts to educate mechanical contractors about the dangers of distracted driving with the release of a new Distracted Driving Reduction and Prevention Guide. The guide expands upon the information provided in one of the association’s safety bulletins on the topic. The publication includes sample policies, training materials, and a test to assist contractors in documenting safety training.

“The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) statistics on distracted driving are pretty alarming,” noted Tom Skaggs, chairman of MCAA’s Safety and Health Committee and vice president – safety for the Murphy Co. He cited 2009 statistics, saying that, “More than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to distracted driving, and thousands more were injured in those crashes.”

The new publication defines distracted driving and explains why contractors should be concerned. It further explains the physiological causes of distracted driving and how those can be minimized using a combination of common sense, training, and new technologies.

“MCAA and MSCA recommend that mechanical industry employers take steps to help reduce distracted driving in their companies,” advised Pete Chaney, MCAA director of safety and health. He added, “MCAA’s Safety and Health Committee believes that following the recommendations in the new Distracted Driving Reduction and Prevention Guide will make your workers, whose job descriptions include driving, cognizant of the hazards associated with distracted driving, and reduce the risk of accidents related to distracted driving.”

The guide advises contractors to establish a written policy to reduce or prevent distracted driving in their companies, train all affected drivers/workers on the subject of distracted driving, and consider using available technology to reduce or prevent distracted driving.

Skaggs added, “The bottom line is the human brain is completely incapable of multitasking; the better job we do of educating contractors, the better it is for everyone who’s out there on the road.”

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Publication date: 09/26/2011