Mobile technology enables your field service technicians to stay productive on the go, but what about all of those mobile phone and texting while driving laws? Read on to learn how to stay compliant, safe, and effective—at the same time.
But first, let’s establish that distracted driving is a serious problem. Check out these statistics shared by Automotive Fleet:
- A driver who uses a cellphone while driving is just as likely to crash as someone who has a blood alcohol concentration of .08%, even if he or she is using a hands-free device.
- The activity in the area of the brain that processes moving images decreases by as much as 33% when talking on a phone.
- Drivers may miss up to 50% of their surroundings when talking on any kind of cellphone.
- Drivers who talk, text, tweet, or do any other similar activity when driving are 23 times more likely to crash.
Various Driver Distraction Laws Protect Everyone
Legislation has been enacted to help prevent distracted driving. Hand-held cell phone use bans prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving, while text messaging bans prohibit text messaging. Every U.S. state has different regulations, so visit ncsl.org to find out which laws are applicable to your drivers.
Different companies have different policies, too. And these may or may not be more stringent than local rules. For example, this sample policy from the National Safety Council (NSC) says:
- “[COMPANY NAME] employees must refrain from using PDAs and cell phones, either hand-held or hands-free, while operating a motor vehicle.”
- “[COMPANY NAME] employees must not initiate or respond to phone calls, read or respond to text messages or emails while driving a passenger or commercial vehicle.”
And the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a mobile phone restriction rule that restricts the use of all hand-held mobile devices by commercial motor vehicle drivers—and these may impact your drivers as well.
Here are some common sense ideas how you can make it work. These incorporate recommendations from the FMCSA and NSC:
- Pull over. If you or a driver needs to connect—talk on the phone, text—do what you need to do while parked, then get back on the road.
- Go hands-free. Use an earpiece or your mobile device’s speaker phone function. Keep the mobile device located where you can initiate, answer, or end a call by touching a single button—without unsafely reaching for it. That means you have to remain seated in the driving position, properly restrained by the seat belt.
To learn how vehicle telematics tools can be used to make the roads safer, don’t miss:
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