Most of us are guilty for doing it, I know I certainly am. It’s hard when your commute is 1 ½ hours in 10MPH traffic and you have emails and text coming in all day and night.
American Automobile Association (AAA) has put out some statistics on Texting & Driving
- Although 92% of U.S. drivers consider texting while driving unacceptable, 24% of those drivers admitted to reading or sending a text message while driving in the last 30 days
- Texting while driving can increase eyes-off-the-road time by 400%
- Texting while driving increases drifting into adjacent lanes by 28%
- Texting while driving increases risk of experiencing a crash or near crash by 2,000%
- In 2010, the average U.S. teen sent or received an average of 3,339 texts per month (One day, those teens will be working for you!)
- The number of text messages sent worldwide is expected to grow to 8.7 trillion messages in 2015
With motor vehicle crashes the No. 1 cause of worker fatality year after year, business owners should do whatever they can to keep their workers safe behind the wheel. Currently, 39 states ban text messaging for all drivers.
Here is a state by state list of texting bans across the USA Click Here
Creating a texting and driving policy and educating your employees on the dangers of texting and driving will help your company in several ways. First and foremost, it will increase safety on the road for your employees and the rest of the driving public. Second, in an environment where contractors are looking to save dollars anywhere they can, such a policy can reduce your vehicle incidents claims and therefore lower insurance costs. And if there is one thing every contractor knows, it is that one of the few things scarier than statistics on the dangers of texting and driving is rising insurance costs for construction companies.
So with this fast paced world we are in, and just reading about how it is Russian roulette when we texting and drive, what can be done to eliminate taking your eyes off the road?
Well I believe there are 3 solutions and each being unique to each of your situations.
1: Disengage Texting
Many drivers only become tempted to text when someone else texts them first. For these drivers, it’s not that some incredible thought comes rushing to their heads that they feel uncontrollably compelled to share it with someone via a text message. Rather, typically the driver receives a message from a friend, family member, or coworker that requires a response. It is that temptation, especially if there is some kind of urgency in the message (e.g. a change in plans), that compels drivers to text.
There are phone apps out there that disengage texting while driving so that you your employees or your loved one can avoid the temptation altogether.
I have put together a short list:
Auto-responding phone apps are becoming an increasingly popular way to overcome the texting while driving issue. Auto-responders have one clear benefit over apps that simply disengage texting: they give a response. This is important to a lot of people because they do not want the person who originally sent the text to feel like they are being ignored. The messages that the auto-responder send back are usually customizable so you can give the person an indication of how long it will be before you can respond.
The one disadvantage auto-responders have is that the text message is still delivered to your phone, which means that you are still going to be very tempted to read it – and possibly respond.
Here are a few companies that offer this feature:
3: Voice Recognition Apps
For those who just have to be in the loop, who have to be able to receive and send text messages while driving, there are apps that enable you to speak into the phone to write text messages. You still have to take your eyes off the road to read the message and play with the buttons to get the app rolling, but at least you can keep your eyes on the road while actually composing the message.
Effective October 5, 2011, the penalty for use of a portable electronic device used to make phone calls, send text messages, e-mail, and surf the Internet while driving in New York State increased from 2 to 3 violation points. The change was adopted through the regulatory process and adopted by the New York State DMV. The fine amount for talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device is up to $100 plus an $85 state surcharge. The fine for texting, e-mailing, etc. is up to $150 plus an $85 state surcharge. All cell phone offenses are primary offenses, meaning a driver can be pulled over strictly for using a cell phone.