Bust any safety myths lately? New findings from a National Safety Council (NSC) poll point toward one misconception many of your workers probably have:
The NSC says 80% of drivers incorrectly believe hands-free cell phones are safer to use when driving than hand-held ones.
Some other results from the NSC poll:
- Of those who admitted using hands-free devices while driving, 70% said they do so for safety reasons.
- 53% of respondents believe hands-free devices must be safe to use if they are built into cars and trucks.
NSC points to more than 30 studies that show hands-free devices are no safer than hand-held ones because the brain is distracted by the phone conversation either way.
“The problem is the brain does not truly multi-task,” said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives at the NSC. “Just like you can’t read a book and talk on the phone, you can’t safely operate a vehicle and talk on the phone.”
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The NSC’s theme this year is “Hands-free is not risk-free.”
The safety organization is urging employers to ban its employees from using cell phones — hand-held and hands-free — while driving for company business.
How one company did it
Owens-Corning has enacted such a ban.
Among the keys to doing that: Real support from the very top of the organization.
Before enacting the ban for the entire company, its CEO went 90 days without using a cell phone while driving.
When it came time to announce the policy, the CEO told his story about how he had just successfully refrained from using a phone while driving, and that it didn’t affect his productivity.
Owens-Corning also recruited some champions for the new policy, including its top sales leaders. These champions helped implement the program among all of the company’s salespeople.
The NSC has materials available to help companies implement their own cell phone policies.
Has your company implemented a cell phone while driving ban? Does it include hands-free calls? Let us know in the comments.