The American Society of Safety Engineers is calling on safety pros to support efforts to cut down on distracted driving since the leading cause of workplace fatalities is motor vehicle crashes.
In its Position Statement on Distracted Driving in Motor Vehicles, ASSE calls on its members and other safety professionals to:
- encourage and support employer rules banning any employee use of electronic devices while driving
- support proposed public laws and regulations that effectively limit the use of electronic devices while driving, and
- back improved driver education that includes the risks of distracted driving and ways to avoid such risks.
ASSE’s views about distracted driving aren’t limited to cell phone use. It says, “The same safety risks posed by cellular phones also hold true for a vehicle operator who drives in an unsafe manner while eating, drinking, putting on makeup, reading a newspaper, operating any other electronic device, or some other type of distracting activity where the driver’s mind, eyes, and hands are engaged elsewhere than the road ahead and the steering wheel.”
ASSE cites various studies to make its point that distracted driving isn’t limited to electronic device use.
A Carnegie Mellon University study shows brain power used while driving decreases by 40% when a driver listens to conversation or music. A Nationwide Mutual Insurance study found 80% of drivers admit to blatantly hazardous behavior including changing clothes, steering with a foot, painting nails and shaving.
Does your company have a policy on employees and distracted driving? Do you think it’s a good idea to support laws banning use of cell phones while driving? Should those bans also cover other types of distracted driving? What are some examples you’ve seen of distracted driving? Let us know in the Comments Box below.