Survey says 20 percent of companies ban distracted driving

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One in five of Fortune 500 companies surveyed by the National Safety Council have adopted policies prohibiting their employees from using a cell phone while driving a company owned vehicle. An estimated 20 percent of the 150 companies that replied to the National Safety Council’s questions regarding their cell phone policies have made a corporate policy mandating a total ban on cell phone use, several of them in response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s recommendation that cell phone use while behind the wheel of a moving motor vehicle be prohibited in all 50 states as well as Washington, D.C. The National Safety Council supports the National Transportation Safety Board’s cell phone ban suggestion, which prohibits drivers from using a cell phone for sending text messages or engaging in a cell phone conversation while operating a vehicle, even if the handheld communication device has been equipped with a Bluetooth transmitter or other hands-free device. According to a statement issued by the council, more than 30 safety studies have concluded that using a cell phone while driving is equally hazardous and distracting regardless of whether the motorist is using a hands-free device. One company conforming to the recommendation is Owens Corning, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio. Signs reading “No cell phone while driving” have been posted throughout the company parking lot. The companywide policy is that no employee should make or receive a business related call while driving any vehicle. The survey conducted by the National Safety Council, a nonprofit safety advocacy organization, is not a complete picture of the cell phone policies enforced by companies across the United States, but no fully comprehensive list of corporate policies currently exists.