Lots of us will be hitting the road on Memorial Day weekend, and in the summer months ahead. And we’ll see plenty of people in other cars who are talking on cell phones – or worse, texting – while driving. Don’t you feel better that you have that Bluetooth connection so you can talk away without taking your hands of the wheel?
Don’t. The fact is that any cell phone conversation while driving is a distraction, and distracted driving causes crashes. The research is there. You may have both hands on the wheel, but your mind is not fully engaged on the road, other vehicles, and hazards. That’s why ISEA’s Board of Trustees is urging all its member companies to establish and enforce a policy on the use of mobile electronic devices while driving.
These policies can be far-reaching: Don’t use a cell phone in a company car, or while driving any car on company business. Don’t use a cell phone when you’re behind the wheel, regardless of whether you’re moving or stopped in traffic. Don’t use a company cell phone, or any cell phone used to conduct business, while driving. Don’t have phone conversations with people when you know they’re driving. Tell all your colleagues that you won’t answer the phone when you’re behind the wheel.
Of course, these policies only cover driving for business, or using business-provided phones or cars. These are the only situations where a company can set a policy. But workers in companies with strict cell phone use policies quickly learn how to compensate for the loss of constant connectivity. They might even be more productive in their use of phone time. And educating employees on the real dangers of distracted driving can make them more aware of when not to make, or answer, that phone call when they’re off the job.