We’ve talked many times about the dangers of driving while talking or texting on a cell phone. It’s dangerous enough that 12 states have banned texting while driving in recent years. Now, according to the Boston Globe, a growing number of companies are banning their employees from using distracting devices too – even if local laws still allow them. Why?
New surveys show that four out of five highway accidents are caused by distracted or multi-tasking drivers. In nearly half of those accidents, a cell phone or electronic device was to blame. Also, a new British study found that texting while driving slows reaction time, even more than being drunk or high. Also, if you crash a company car on company time, it’s not just you who pays the price - the company is liable too! In recent years, inattentive drivers have cost employers millions of dollars in legal fees. That’s a financial risk that few companies are willing to take these days. That’s why more firms are enforcing policies that ban all employees from using electronic devices while driving on company time – including hands-free devices.
Just in the past few months, major companies like DuPont and the U.S. Post Office have made using a mobile phone while driving an offense that can get you fired! These bans are becoming even more common after two high-profile train accidents in Boston and Los Angeles. In each case, investigators found that conductors had been sending text messages within minutes of the crash.
So do cell phone bans work? A Massachusetts firm called AMEC became one of the first North American companies to enforce a cell phone ban. Their employees were skeptical at first, arguing that the ban would make them less productive. However, one year after the ban took effect, accidents in company cars were down, and 93% of workers admitted they were just as productive as before.
So the bottom line is this: Even if local politicians haven’t banned cell phones in your car, don’t be surprised if your boss asks you to stop using them. Either way, the goal’s the same: To be safer on the road.