There’s no denying people love their smartphone/iPhone, both at home and on the job. In fact, AdamsComm has helped many companies to sync their staff members mobile phones with their desk phones. This trend makes the “don’t drive distracted” message even more important–especially for workers who spend a lot or most of their time out on the road.
Distracted driving refers to any activity you undertake while driving that could, obviously, be distracting. For this discussion, let’s focus on mobile devices. Whether it’s for work or personal use, you should never text–nor read texts–while driving.
Most states have laws regarding this matter. Just because you are on the job and you need to respond to a business text doesn’t make it all right. Pull over to the side of the road or, better yet, a parking lot. Do all your text reading and/or writing there. Never in a moving vehicle.
What about phone calls? In terms of distracted driving, those count. Most smartphones come equipped with a speaker phone function, so you’re not forced to use your hands while on the phone. If your vehicle is equipped with Blue Tooth, even better. If you do not have a mount for your smartphone while driving, get one. This is particularly key if your smartphone doubles as a GPS.
If using your mobile as a GPS, mount it to the left side of the windshield just below eye level. You want to be able to see the directions out of the corner of your eyes without completely taking your eyes off the road. Yes, this is probably borderline distracted driving, but the risk is greatly reduced if your eyes are looking in the same direction as the road.
Set your destination on your GPS while automobile is parked or not moving. No exceptions.
The statistics regarding distracted make an overwhelming case as to why you need to take extra precautions if you spend a good deal of your work time on the road. For example:
According to the National Highway Traffic & Safety Administration statistics, 3,477 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2015. Just as alarming, 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents for that same year. Those stats may not differentiate who was on the job and who was not. Yet it’s probably safe to say that a decent amount were.
Smartphones are a wonderful technology for people who make their living on the road. You can conduct business, accept credit card payments, do research and any number of things that not too long ago would not have been possible without being behind a desk. Smartphones even come with technology like Bluetooth, voice recognition and outgoing text responders to make texting while being in your mobile office safer. Ultimately, it comes down to this:
If your automobile is moving, don’t text or read texts. If you think a phone call might require too much of your attention, pull over or park in a safe spot and then make the call.
We’re now in the holiday season and there will be more people out on the road. Some are coming from holiday gatherings or gift shopping. It’s probably safe to say that most will not be paying 100 percent to what they are doing on the road. Because you can’t really know the circumstances of why people are out on the road, do the one thing you can. Play it safe. Do not text and drive. Use your speaker phone for calls. And stay focused.
For more information on distracted driving, here’s a very interesting article on the topic from Fortune magazine.