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Distracted Driving

Welcome to OSHA's Distracted Driving Page!

Distracted Driving: No Texting - Publication
  • Check out the agency's distracted driving business brochure on OSHA's publications page.
  • View winning student-produced public service announcement, "Texting and Driving," from Oregon OSHA co-sponsored video contest to promote young worker safety and health. Read news release (PDF).

 

 

OSHA partners in conference on distracted driving

OSHA Assistant Secretary David Michaels spoke at the Symposium on Prevention of Occupationally-Related Distracted Driving held April 18, 2011, in Laurel, Md. Distracted driving, including texting while driving and cell phone use, is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes. This symposium brought together a variety of stakeholders interested in reducing work-related driving distractions and generated recommendations for action, including new directions for research. The Johns Hopkins Education and Research Center for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in partnership with OSHA, the Department of Transportation and the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy hosted the symposium which included presentations, interactive discussions, opportunities for networking and demonstrations of training materials.

  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • Assistant Secretary for
  • Occupational Safety and Health
  • Washington, D.C. 20210

October 4, 2010

Dear Employer:

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States, and its often fatal consequences are a threat to your workers, your business and the public.

Because millions of workers' jobs require them to spend part or all of their work day driving ― visiting clients and customers, making site visits, or delivering goods and services ― the Departments of Labor (DOL) and Transportation (DOT) are joining forces in a campaign to stop distracted driving and save lives.

Year after year, the leading cause of worker fatalities is motor vehicle crashes. There's no question that new communications technologies are helping business work smarter and faster. But getting work done faster does not justify the dramatically increased risk of injury and death that comes with texting while driving.

The human toll is tragic. DOT reports that in 2009, more than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to distraction and thousands more were injured. "Texting while driving" has become such a prominent hazard that 30 states now ban text messaging for all drivers.

OSHA is partnering with others across government, industry and the public to bring together important information and tools to attack texting while driving and other distracted driver hazards. We invite you to learn more about combating this problem at www.osha.gov and at DOT's distracted driving website, www.distraction.gov.

Most employers want to do the right thing and protect their workers, and some have already taken action to prohibit texting while driving. It is your responsibility and legal obligation to create and maintain a safe and healthful workplace, and that would include having a clear, unequivocal and enforced policy against the hazard of texting while driving. Companies are in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, or create incentives that encourage or condone it, or they structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their job.

To combat the threat of distracted driving, we are prepared to act quickly. When OSHA receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while driving or who organizes work so that texting is a practical necessity, we will investigate and where necessary issue citations and penalties to end this practice.

I invite you to join us in observing "Drive Safely Work Week," October 4-8. During this week and throughout the year, let's work together to prevent workers from being injured and killed on the road.

David Michaels, PhD, MPH

Video, Dr. David Michaels Discusses Efforts to Stop Texting While Driving

Video, Dr. David Michaels Discusses Efforts to Stop Texting While Driving

(from left) Emmett Russell of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Scott Madar of Mercer, Sandy Spavone of the National Organizations for Youth Safety, and Lamont Byrd of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined OSHA officials and other stakeholders representing workers, employers, trade and insurance associations, small businesses, government agencies and advocacy groups in a March 3, 2011, teleconference on OSHA’s Distracted Driving Initiative. Participants discussed strategies for working cooperatively to help inform businesses, especially small businesses, of the importance of preventing workers from texting while driving.

Photo by: Kevin Kennedy

(from left) Emmett Russell of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Scott Madar of Mercer, Sandy Spavone of the National Organizations for Youth Safety, and Lamont Byrd of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters joined OSHA officials and other stakeholders representing workers, employers, trade and insurance associations, small businesses, government agencies and advocacy groups in a March 3, 2011, teleconference on OSHA’s Distracted Driving Initiative. Participants discussed strategies for working cooperatively to help inform businesses, especially small businesses, of the importance of preventing workers from texting while driving. Other participating organizations included American Automobile Association, American Insurance Association, FocusDriven, National Association of Fleet Administrators, Network of Employers for Traffic Safety, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, Department of Transportation, and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Distraction.gov

Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving

Map of texting bans

Map of texting bans


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