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Friday, August 20, 2010 VOLUME 4 ISSUE 3  
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Volvo Takes a Stand on Distracted Driving
Brand encourages employers to take action.

Images of horrendous car crashes on TV and Internet news repeatedly raise the issue of the danger of distracted driving. Volvo believes U.S. employers can help reduce the problem, and it’s giving them a head start.


Even Volvo safety engineers, who’ve devised some of the most advanced new technology on the road, know that it just takes one distracted driver to cause a disaster. Volvo safety experts say that a key to preventing distracted driving is to understand that driving is not your “downtime” or a time to catch up on phone calls, personal grooming or dining.


According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 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. Those numbers, however, represent only reported distractions. The NHTSA report concludes that the problem is much larger.


To help reduce the potential for distracted-driver accidents, Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA) is sharing its corporate employee safe-driving policies and urging companies without policies to copy it. The company has published those policies on its blog ( “Feel free to copy it word for word and make it part of your company's HR handbooks – the sooner the better,” said Doug Speck, VCNA’s President and CEO. 

VCNA has had strict safe-driving policies in place for its company cars for decades. As technology evolved, more were added including mandatory use of hands-free devices for cellular phones while driving. Texting while driving is prohibited for all Volvo employees while driving Volvo company cars. 

“We invented the three-point seatbelt, so it makes sense for Volvo to have employee policies for safe driving,” Speck said. “But there is no reason other companies can't strengthen current policies or implement new ones. 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.” 

In addition to its employee driving safety policies, Volvo also offers the following tips to help reduce distracted driving.  

  •       Don't dial or text and drive. Let a passenger make a call for you or wait until you're parked to dial or send a text message.
  •       Program important numbers into your cell phone so they’ll be readily available if you are in an accident.
  •       Recognize the activities that distract you such as eating, talking on the phone or changing a CD. Once you recognize these distractions, you can work to eliminate them.
  •       Know your route in advance and make sure you have a good understanding of your directions in both weather and road conditions.
  •       Manage your time so that you do not have to multi-task or drive aggressively.
  •       Be prepared for the unpredictability of others.
  •       Make sure you are not upset or tired when getting on the road. Driving is not the time to have a serious or emotional conversation with passengers.
  •       Find a safe place to pull over if you need to do something that will take your eyes or mind off the road.
  •       Buckle up, every trip, every time – driver and all passengers.

Safe driving begins with the driver. Driving a vehicle that embodies more than 50 years of dedication to safety starts at your Volvo dealer.


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