MCAA Expands Distracted Driving Prevention Efforts

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 last month’s safety bulletin on the topic. The new 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,” notes Tom Skaggs, Chairman of MCAA’s Safety and Health Committee and Vice President – Safety for the Murphy Company. He cites 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, citing a number of harrowing statistics that will give contractors pause. 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,” advises MCAA Director of Safety and Health Pete Chaney. He adds, “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 adds, “The bottom line is the human brain is completely incapable of multi-tasking; the better job we do of educating contractors, the better it is for everyone who’s out there on the road.”

MCAA members and local affiliated associations receive free access to the Distracted Driving Reduction and Prevention Guide. The non-member price is $54 per copy. The publication is available from MCAA’s Bookstore at www.mcaa.org/store, where contractors can also find a wide variety of safety publications designed specifically for the mechanical construction, service and plumbing industries.

For additional information about MCAA’s Safety Excellence Initiative or how you can protect your company from distracted driving hazards, please contact Pete Chaney at 800/556-3653 or [email protected]

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