safety article
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

If you use a cell phone while driving in traffic, whether hand-held or hands-free, the National Safety Council (NSC) wants to know: What Were You Thinking?

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The NSC says thousands of people die needlessly every year because drivers continue to use cell phones while driving. It is urging drivers to:

  • Stop using cell phones, regardless of whether they are hand-held or hands-free devices, while driving. Studies have shown that even hands-free cell phone conversations seriously distract drivers.
  • Inform people who call them while they are driving that they would be happy to continue the conversation once they arrive at their destination, but not now.
  • Talk to others about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving.

Here are a some disturbing facts involving cell phone use by drivers who are moving in traffic:

  • A Carnegie Mellon study found that activity in the area of the brain that processes moving visual images—vital to safe driving—decreases by 33 percent while listening to a phone conversation.
  • A University of Utah study found that a driver engaged in a cell phone conversation reacts more slowly to driving emergencies than a driver who is impaired by a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent.
  • Drivers using cell phones in traffic are four times more likely to crash than drivers who aren’t using cell phones.
  • About nine percent of drivers are talking on cell phones at any given time during daylight hours, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
  • Nearly one in three US drivers admit to talking on cell phones while driving “fairly often” or “regularly” according to the AAA Foundation 2011 Traffic Safety Culture Index.

Related content:

If talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, the dangers of texting and driving are even greater, as a driver’s eyes can leave the road for five seconds while composing or reading a text. Use this video to help your workers stop this potentially deadly driving behavior.

Share with your workers this safety talk on the importance of not using distracting electronic technologies while on the job.

Here is a model cell phone policy you can use to keep your workers from talking and texting on cell phones while driving.

This article can help you create an effective talking/texting while driving ban.


 

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