ROCKLEIGH, N.J. (March 16, 2010) - As numerous consumer education campaigns surface to eliminate the dangers of distracted driving, Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA) invites other U.S. employers to join the movement by enacting stronger policies regarding the use of cell phones while driving.
VCNA has had strict safe-driving policies in place for its company cars for decades. These include mandatory use of seat belts for all occupants and hands-free devices for cellular phones while driving. Texting while driving is strictly prohibited for all Volvo employees while driving Volvo company cars.
"We invented the three-point seat belt, so it makes sense for Volvo to have employee policies for safe driving, but there is no reason other companies can't strengthen current policies or implement new ones," said Doug Speck, VCNA's president and CEO. "Even if a very small percentage of employers bring attention to the issue of distracted driving, it could have a major impact on making our roadways safer."
Volvo has posted its Safe Operation of Company Vehicles policy on its blog, http://www.volvoblog.us/ . "Feel free to copy it word for word and make it part of your company's HR handbooks - the sooner the better," added Speck.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008, 5,870 people lost their lives and an estimated 515,000 people were injured in crashes in which at least one form of driver distraction was reported on the crash report. What's more, these numbers represent only reported distractions, so the size of the problem is, much greater, concludes the NHTSA report.
In an effort to bring this safety issue to the forefront, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood led a Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C. in September 2009 that highlighted the under-recognized dangers of distracted driving. To further call attention to the issue, Volvo placed ads in USA Today and The Washington Post calling for distracted driving legislation.
Earlier this year, Secretary LaHood announced a federal ban on texting for commercial vehicles such as large trucks and buses.
Volvo's director of safety, Thomas Broberg, also offers the following tips to eliminate as many distractions as possible:
Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, www.volvocars.com/us is a subsidiary of Volvo Car Corporation of Gothenburg, Sweden. VCNA provides marketing, sales, parts, service, technology and training support to Volvo automobile retailers in the United States, and oversees Volvo operations in Canada. For more information on the entire Volvo product lineup please refer to the Volvo Cars of North America, LLC, public relations website at: http://www.volvocars-pr.com/, and follow Volvo's blog at: http://www.volvoblog.us/.
Media: Kristin Heinmets, Haberman
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