TIME TO PUT THE PHONE AWAY!
Buzzzz Buzzzz. We have all heard that little noise go off on our phones. One little peek isn’t going to hurt anything. ‘ I can just check it quick’ you tell yourself… and then BAM, the unthinkable happens. You look up and a child has ran in front of your car chasing their ball. Those couple of seconds you took to look at your phone have now changed your life forever, and so many others.
Texting while driving can be just as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.10. You are not paying attention to traffic cues and the distances you are keeping from the car in front of you – and you are also more likely to drift into another lane.
What about those of us that use the hands free option in our vehicles, and never text? Studies have shown that there are no safety benefits to hands-free devices. Talking on the phone mentally distracts you from paying attention to the road. The same area of the brain that processes moving images also handles our conversations. As much as we like to think we can multi task, our brains cannot perform these two tasks at the same time.
If you are friend or parent, now is the time to start thinking about a distracted driving policy for you and those you care about.
Vehicle crashes are the #1 cause of workplace deaths. An easy policy to put in place is simply no texting or talking on the phone (even hands free) while driving. If you need to make a phone call or answer a call, pull over. Have each employee sign off on the policy. Start making it a habit to turn off your cell phone when you get in the car or put them on silent so you don’t hear it. Put it in a place where you can’t check it, like the trunk. Install an app that automatically sends a response that states you can’t respond you are driving.
We all need to remember that there isn’t a phone call, text message or email that is more important than someone’s life.
Information courtesy of National Safety Council