Wayne Hogan spoke to the Southside Business Men’s Club about the dangers of distracted driving through Terrell • Hogan’s For the Workforce program. His message: There’s only one job behind the wheel, getting from Point A to point B safely. He called distracted driving an epidemic that kills more people in the U.S. each year than polio did in the worst year of that epidemic.
The Myth of Multitasking
Hogan reported on research that proves our brains actually switch from one task to the other, meaning that with phones and driving, we suffer tunnel vision and miss crucial visual cues. The brain focuses on the call, not on the driving. Brain distraction is essentially brain blindness; the eye sees but the brain doesn’t perceive. He stressed that while the dangers of texting and driving are well-known, many don’t realize that calls – even hands-free calls – can kill. He said hands-free is not what it’s cracked up to be and emphasized research showing drunk driving and distracted driving are equally dangerous.
Hogan also recounted the privilege speaking to members of The Jaguars, Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron Six Zero (HSM-60) at Mayport Naval Station on the dangers of distracted driving. The squadron’s focus is keeping our country safe by doing search and rescue, anti-submarine missions and patrolling the seas. Distracted driving became part of their safety stand-down training. It was due to Commander’s concern that they may face more danger from distracted drivers on Jacksonville’s roadways that their dangerous job which they are well-trained to handle.
Why It’s Important
With changes in the legal landscape, the financial stakes are even higher for companies and their employees. Hogan shared that an employer can be held liable when distracted driving by an employee causes a wreck. He also emphasized that one bad accident could harm a company’s brand and bottom line. He said the consequences of distracted driving are serious and may include higher insurance rates, civil lawsuits, punitive damages – which are not insurable – OSHA fines and productivity loss. Employees could also face manslaughter/vehicular homicide charges when reckless driving kills.
Corporate Cell Phone Policy
He discussed the importance of educating employees about the dangers of distracted driving and emphasized creating and implementing policies addressing cell phone use.
Hogan, who recently discussed distracted driving policies with the Duval County School Board previously worked with Jacksonville Mayor Brown to help the City of Jacksonville adopt a comprehensive policy against distracted driving.
Call to Schedule a Presentation
The Terrell • Hogan Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign offers two complimentary distracted driving presentations: “For the Workforce” for businesses, civic groups, governmental units and churches, and EndDD for students. Hogan considers it an honor to be part of EndDD which was created by his friends Joel and Dianne in memory of their daughter, Casey Feldman, who was killed by the negligence of a distracted driver.
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