April 2024

NSC Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Written by Sarah McGrew

National Safety Council (NSC) observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  As an employee for any company, most of us commute an average of 27.6 minutes one-way, according to the U.S. Census Bureau in 2019.  As an employee in the oil and gas industry, most of you travel long distances when mobilizing to the project and continue to travel several hundred miles during a typical work week between site locations.  To say safe driving and being aware of the hazards of distracted driving is important to CIS is an understatement – it is a critical component to our employees returning home safely every night and at the end of their project.  In 2021 there were 3,522 people killed and an estimated additional 362,415 people injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes involving distracted drivers. This is an increase of 380 fatalities compared to 2020 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration"

Over the last year, 25% of the near misses reported by our employees were regarding a driving hazard.  The most recent near miss reported specifically due to distracted driving read: “…Several people were making bad choices at this time, and it all came to a very abrupt stop when the car weaving in and out of traffic did not see the oncoming car and that driver was looking down at his phone. There was no collision, but one car ended up in the ditch and the other drove away…Rain, cell phones and poor driving habits can be very dangerous. Distracted Driving is not just you it is also those around you. Drive like your life depends on it because it does. Arrive late or chances are you may not arrive at all.”

CIS policy states that Cell Phone use (even hands-free) is prohibited while conducting job responsibilities, operating vehicles or machinery and standing within 10 feet of moving vehicles or equipment.  It is a standard most employers have adopted over the years. Every employee should be familiar with the company’s driving policy as well as the client site specific policy – it could cost you your job.  While that may seem harsh, it’s better than it possibly costing your life or someone else’s life due to distracted driving.

Watch this video on how the City of Tulsa implemented a distracted driving policy.

Economic Costs Associated With Distracted Driving

The estimated economic cost of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States in 2019 (the most recent year for which cost data is available) was $340 billion, of which $98 billion resulted from distracted driving crashes.

Included in the economic costs are lost productivity, workplace costs, legal and court costs, medical costs, emergency medical services, insurance administration costs, congestion impacts, and property damage.

These costs represent the tangible losses that result from motor vehicle traffic crashes but fail to capture the relatively intangible value of lost quality-of-life that results from these injuries.
When quality-of-life valuations are considered, the total value of societal harm from motor vehicle traffic crashes in the United States in 2019 was an estimated $1.37 trillion, of which $395 billion resulted from distracted-driving crashes.

What Distracted Driving Looks Like

If something requires your hands, your eyes or your attention while you’re driving, it’s a distraction. Distractions can include:

    Cell Phone Use
    Passengers and pets inside the vehicle
    Events outside the vehicle
    Adjusting your GPS, music, podcast or audiobook
    Using your vehicle’s touchscreens
    Handling dispatching devices and mobile data terminals

These habits may be common, but they’re still distracting and dangerous for you and everyone else on the road. When you’re behind the wheel, your only job is to drive (NSC).

Handle Distractions Before You Drive

You can prevent many distractions while driving if you do these things before you begin your drive:

  • Make your phone calls and text messages ahead of time.  Yes, even hands-free is distracting – if you’re like me, you just have to read your text to proofread it for errors before sending.  Let people know when you will be driving or turn on your Do Not Disturb feature on your phone.
  • Pull over to a safe place to answer calls or respond to text messages if you think they are important.
  • Program your GPS to your destination.  Think about stops you may need along the way and program those as well, if possible.
  • Select your music playlist, podcast, or audiobook.  It’s not that important to find the perfect song or episode of your favorite podcast while you’re driving.  Select one that should last the entirety of your drive or queue it in order of your preference.
  • Plan your drive around your meals.  Stop if you need to eat.

You may have already acted upon yourself to ensure you are not distracted when behind the wheel – we certainly hope this is the case.  It is also imperative that you are aware of other drivers that could be distracted.  Each driver should learn defensive driving techniques and be prepared to avoid distracted drivers.  In reference to the near miss reported, one driver was not “distracted”, but was definitely not aware that another driver was.  If you’re a passenger in a vehicle with a distracted driver, take a stand and say something.  Pledge to not drive distracted and ask your friends to join you in that pledge.  You could save a life.

Safety is important on the job site, but you have to get there first.  If you have a story you’d like to share that could encourage someone to take a stand against distracted driving, feel free to send it via email and we may feature that story in another newsletter.  The video below shares a State Trooper’s story about how he was impacted by a distracted driver.

Employee of the Month


Ben Logan has been selected as our Safety Employee of the Month! We wanted to thank Ben for always putting safety first and dedication to making Cleveland Integrity #1.

Why is Safety so important to you?      
Ben: We all have families waiting for us at home and safety helps ensure we make it back to them at the end of the day..

Why do you think submitting near-miss reports is important?
Ben: By submitting near misses it can prevent accidents from happening. And helps promote an actively safe job site.

Please be sure to submit your Near-Misses by April 27 at 5 PM CST for a chance to win prizes!  If you have previously won any prizes and would like to share photos, feel free to send us an email with the photos.

We are pleased to announce that we have partnered up with Boot Barn to offer inspectors a 15% discount on all purchases “work-related” from Boot Barn, nationwide.

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