Companies should adopt cell phone use policies
Estimates are that one in 10 drivers is somehow distracted while on the road whether it be from eating, reading, using navigation devices, passenger distraction or cell phone use. For this reason, hand-held cell phone use or texting while driving is illegal in the State of Washington.
Accidents from these distractions can cause time loss for employees, increased insurance rates and leave company vehicles out of commission for extended periods.
If you have company delivery drivers, you need to explain the dangers of cell phone use while driving and that you are taking action by implementing policies that would prohibit handheld devices while operating a company vehicle. Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist, urges companies without cell phone use policies to put them together soon. The National Safety Council (NSC) recommends that those policies apply to all company employees.
Employees should be instructed to make calls before leaving the parking lot or at rest stops, but not while they’re on the road.
Two bills under consideration this legislative session would amend the state’s driving-with-electronics laws to further limit their use. The pending bills would ban drivers from using any electronic device with more than one finger and prohibit holding a cell phone to your ear while driving. This would include a ban on holding a phone to scroll for social media feeds, taking a photo or sending an e-mail.
The NSC has created a series of short videos that answer common questions about cell phone use and driving. On RASI SAFETY TV, there is a playlist of these videos. This would be a great topic at your next safety meeting. Rick suggests showing a few with discussions between each video.
WRA employs Rick to be available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198, Ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.