A growing cause of auto injuries and deaths across the nation is distraction behind the wheel. To help the businesses it serves prevent crashes and combat this epidemic on a large scale, Federated Mutual Insurance Company took a wide-ranging approach to bringing awareness and action to a vitally important topic.
The Current Campaign
In 2019, Federated delivered a program titled “Protecting Your Business: You Hold the Keys,” designed to help clients protect both their businesses and their employees through driver screening and driving policies, and by positioning their companies in a more defensible position should crash-related litigation arise. Federated marketing representatives are already well on their way to delivering the message to our more than 38,000 policyholders by fall 2020.
This program gives clients the opportunity to order a complimentary banner to remind their employees to drive safely. To date, we have sent thousands of banners to organizations across the country. Federated encourages funeral professionals to use this opportunity to help employees stay safe on the road.
Prior Driver-Focused Initiatives
Since 2005, Federated has made a concerted effort to help curb distracted driving through education and by providing training programs that give businesses needed resources to help their employees stay focused behind the wheel:
• 2005: “Distracted Driving: At What Cost?” raised awareness and introduced recommendations to help prevent distracted driving.
• 2011: “In the Blink of an Eye” again addressed the impact of distracted driving.
• 2015-16: “What Is Important to You?” targeted the dangers of texting and driving.
• 2017: “Drive S.A.F.E.” discussed four major contributors to vehicle crashes: speed, attention, fatigue and emotion.
• 2018: “Drive S.A.F.E.R.” expanded on the previous campaign and called on businesses to continue to reinforce the safe-driving message.
Driver-monitoring technology is a valuable way to help lessen the occurrence of accidents. Video-
telematic systems provide data from inside and outside the cab to help pinpoint the cause(s) of collisions. This information can help prevent crashes by helping management identify any risky behaviors, such as distracted driving, in order to better coach employees on important safe-driving techniques.
Community Engagement and Advocacy
Behind the wheel, your company drivers’ hands should be focused on one thing: driving. State and local governments nationwide agree with this and increasingly pass important legislation designed to keep drivers from taking their hands off the wheel. Last spring, for instance, Minnesota (Federated’s home state) enacted a hands-free law prohibiting drivers from holding mobile devices while driving. This law was an important step forward in the fight against distracted driving in Minnesota, and Federated proudly advocated for its passage.
Federated also partnered with KARE 11, a community-engaged television station in Minneapolis, to help end distracted driving with the #EyesUp initiative. More than 2.5 million people viewed our “Drive S.A.F.E.” digital messaging in 2019 thanks to this campaign. We also sponsored a public service announcement challenge with high schools throughout Minnesota.
Federated placed four billboards along major highways in Minnesota that remind drivers to focus on the road. These billboards are viewed 19 million times a year and share a consistent message: “Don’t Text and Drive” and “Please Make It Home Safe Today.”
Preventing Auto Accidents Enhances Your business’ Success
Distracted driving affects every industry. It hurts profitability and devastates families. Federated’s mission is to enhance the success of its policyholders and, by extension, the nation. We remain committed to helping employees of the businesses we serve make it home safely every night and will continue to fight against distracted driving.
This article is for general information and risk prevention only and should not be considered legal or other expert advice. Some information may be subject to, and is not a substitute for, federal, state and local laws that may apply.
Ken Deason is a national account executive for Federated Insurance.