Texting While Driving: Why It Matters That You #JustDrive
Posted on May 14, 2014 by Marnelli Medina
Last month, a new PSA was released that shows the dangers of texting while driving. In this haunting video, what starts out as a fun car ride with friends ends in tragedy. As the driver gets her phone to reply to a text message, she misses the stop sign in front of her. Suddenly, they get hit by an oncoming truck, and the car flips over and lands under a bridge. At the end of the ad, a police officer says that if he had seen the driver texting, he would've pulled her over and givne her a ticket– and then maybe she’d still be alive.
For the full effect, you can watch the video below (Ed. Note: This video contains some graphic material and may not be appropriate for children or the workplace) :
The message of this ad is very clear – don’t text and drive. Though the target audience of this ad are teens, all of us are affected by this one way or the other, and should take heed to this ad’s message. If you or someone you know are one of the many distracted drivers on the road, you need to take a look at these facts:
Despite the many distracted driving state laws that have been implemented across the country, distracted driving accidents are still on the rise. With distracted driving accounting for more than 18% of fatal car crashes, it’s time to take a hard look at the current driving situation and make some real changes. The main culprit behind these accidents are mobile phones, which have become increasingly more common in our everyday lives. But there are ways to address this problem, and you can do your part by:
As an Organization
Employees’ use of mobile phones while driving has become a liability for companies. On-the-job car crashes as a result of employees’ negligent driving distracted by a cell phone are costing companies about $43 billion every year. As employers and managers, you can prevent this from hurting your employees and your bottom line by:
- Educating your staff. Hold distracted driving dangers awareness meetings to discuss the scenarios and ways to deal with it.
- Implementing a corporate cell phone ban. This means that wireless phones must be turned off before starting the car. If a call has to be made, pull over a safe location and park before making the call. You also need to inform clients, associates, and business partners that calls will be returned when no longer driving. And don’t worry about this rule hurting your company. A recent NSC survey showed that 99% of organizations did not experience any decrease in productivity.
- Announcing your commitment to Employee Safety. You can do this by spearheading a Don’t Text and Drive Awareness Campaign at work. Get your workers involved by holding activities to foster an environment of road safety. Boost safety awareness by participating in monthly celebrations such as the recently concluded NAOSH Safety Week.
- Providing No Phone While driving reminders at work. Put up No texting while driving signs in your facility. You can also stick Stop texting while driving stickers and labels in all your company-owned and leased vehicles as an extra reminder to your employed motorists.
- Using posters, web banners and fact sheets to drive your point across. Avail of the National Safety Council provides many resources to help promote the prevention of distracted driving. Put posters and banners up, and make sure each of your staff receives an information kit.
As an Individual
You don’t have to be an employee to do your part to end distracted driving. You can help by educating yourself with all the facts and risks of distracted driving, and commit to safe driving practices. Take the No Phone Zone Pledge and spread the word by sending messages to your family and friends, and sharing online on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media site. When on the road, follow the rules of all safety signs. Drive proactively and always anticipate what might happen on the road. If you spot a distracted driver, steer clear of them.
Bottom line is, distracted driving kills. It only takes a few seconds of removing your eyes off the road for an accident to happen. Sending that text message while behind the wheel isn't worth the lives that you put in danger - yours and others. Just like in the video, you need to remember that: "U Drive. U Text. U Pay".
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