Statewide Competition Rewards Missouri Businesses for Curbing Employee Cell Phone Use While Driving

January 10, 2023 • Missouri Employers Mutual

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths and cost employers billions of dollars each year.

Missouri businesses are invited to compete for cash prizes and help make our roadways safer in the inaugural Buckle Up Phone Down (BUPD) Business Showdown, sponsored by AAA Missouri and the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety, in collaboration with Missouri Employers Mutual, the Governors Highway Safety Association, and General Motors.

The BUPD Business Showdown is a new, FREE distracted driving prevention training course that provides participating businesses with cash incentives for employee participation. The goal of the program is to educate drivers on the dangers of cell phone use while driving and offer solutions for preventing distractions behind the wheel. 

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths in the U.S., killing more than 17,000 workers from 2011-2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In 2019, U.S. work-related vehicles cost employers $39 billion, according to the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety. 

“Statistically, car crashes are the leading cause of work-related deaths, and we know cell phone distraction is playing an increased role,” said AAA Missouri Vice President of Public Affairs and Government Relations Angela Nelson. “To protect employees and keep work comp costs down, safety should be the top priority for every employer.  We know many businesses don’t have a safe driving policy – and that’s the first step to ensuring employees are safe when they’re behind the wheel.” 

According to data from Missouri Employers Mutual, work-related vehicle crashes also come at a high financial cost for employers. Lost time vehicle crash claims cost an average of $126,000. 

“The number of motor vehicle-related workers compensation claims rises each year, and more than half of them involve litigation expenses. The simple act of enforcing a company seat belt policy can reduce injuries and costs,” said Missouri Employers Mutual Vice President and Chief Claims Officer Jennifer Langan. 

How to Participate and Win Cash Prizes 

Missouri businesses with five (5) or more employees are eligible to participate. 

There are four easy steps for businesses to compete in the BUPD Business Showdown contest and be eligible to win cash prizes: 

  1. Register your business 
  2. Adopt a safe driving cell phone policy  
  3. Have employees complete the 20-minute, online distracted driving prevention training video 
  4. Once completed, have employees submit the online Buckle Up, Phone Down pledge 

Cash prizes, provided by AAA Missouri, funded through grants from the Governors Highway Safety Association and General Motors, will be awarded to three businesses with the highest percentage of employees who complete the training video and submit the online safe driving pledge. 

  • 1st Place | $7,500 
  • 2nd Place | $6,000 
  • 3rd Place | $5,000 

The contest period runs from Jan. 9 to March 31, 2023. Winners will be announced and invited to an awards presentation at the Missouri State Capitol in April.  

Interested? Check out additional BUPD resources and complete contest rules 

Eliminate Distracted Driving  

All motorists are encouraged to eliminate distracted driving by following these tips: 

  • Put it away. Place your mobile device out of sight to prevent temptation. 
  • Know where you’re going. If using a navigation system, program the destination before driving. 
  • Pull over. If you must call or text while on the road, pull off the road safely and stop first. 
  • Ask passengers for help. If riding with someone, seek their help to navigate, make a call or send a message. 
  • Be a good passenger. Speak out if the driver of your vehicle is distracted. 
  • Don’t be a distraction. Avoid calling or texting others when you know they are driving. 
  • Activate Do Not Disturb. Setting up this feature on iPhone or Android devices will prevent calls from coming in while you’re driving.  
  • Everyone should prevent being ‘intexticated’. Just as drivers need to pay attention, so do pedestrians and bicyclists. Never call, text, or play games while walking or cycling. 

Accept the BUPD challenge today and encourage your employees to drive like it’s their job, by buckling their seat belts and putting their phones down while driving! 

January 10, 2023
Missouri Employers Mutual
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