In 2016, distracted driving led to the deaths of 3,450 people on American roadways and 391,000 injured the year before that. But distracted driving isn’t just a problem on byways and highways. Distracted driving at car washes is becoming a more prevalent problem, too. It can lead to damage, injuries, and even death.
Here are some steps you and your employees can take to protect yourselves and your wash from distracted driving at car washes.
Employee Tips to Stop Distraction at Your Wash
When it comes to distracted driving, the problem gets exacerbated by employee use of cell phones. After all, distracted employees dealing with distracted drivers is a doubly dangerous situation. Whether you’re walking or driving, distraction can have serious consequences. Remember the guy who fell down a pothole because he was busy texting while walking? Mixing distractions simply magnifies the likelihood something will go catastrophically wrong.
So, create a “no cell phone policy” at your wash that covers all functions of the phone. Make sure that this “no cell phone policy” is clearly communicated and enforced including penalties for those who violate it. As a part of your policy, insist that your employees communicate the “no cell phones policy” to their friends and family. They should let their loved ones know that cell phone use is limited to emergency calls.
Besides cell phones, make sure your employees understand that other distractions aren’t permitted either. That means, no MP3 or other music devices. It also means no eating or drinking on the job. These activities can lead to costly accidents and injuries. Finally, keep your employees up-to-date on their safety training. Communicate your wash’s safety protocol clearly and regularly as well as the consequences of not following it.
Customer Tips to Stop Distracted Driving at Car Washes
Before your customers ever enter your tunnel or bay, your signage needs to make the risks of texting and cell phone use clear. Your customers need to understand that when their car is on the conveyor, it’s not the same as being pulled over or stopped in a stationary position. It’s vital that they remain aware—not distracted—of what’s going on around them throughout their car wash experience.
A great way to keep customers focused is by engaging them. Have one of your employees wear a fluorescent or brightly colored glove on the hand directing people onto the conveyor. Have another employee use hand signals to direct driver attention toward your signs.
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Like what you read? Interested in learning more about safety and the car wash industry? Check out our blog for the tips you need to make your wash shine.