Caution workers about the dangers of distracted driving

While multitasking is often a great way to optimize worker productivity, this may not always be true for some activities, driving especially. When workers attempt to talk on the phone or text while driving, they may endanger the lives of others as well as their own. The National Safety Council (NSC) is aiming to raise awareness during April about the dangers of multitasking while driving through Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This year the NSC is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation to remind workers to follow state laws that aim to curb distracted driving.

The Arizona Department of Motor Vehicles states that school bus drivers are prohibited from using cellphones while operating a school bus unless it’s during an emergency. Other commercial drivers also are not allowed to send text messages when they are driving behind the wheel with the exception being having to contact emergency personnel.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) seeks to prevent distracted drivers from hitting the road through a new safety campaign, AZFamily.com reported. The department’s highway patrol officers are expected to look for signs of and causes for distracted driving, which include drivers:

1. Paying attention to distractions outside automobiles as well as on the roads
2. Attempting to grab objects in their cars
3. Talking or texting on cellphones
4. Moving or modifying a piece of equipment
5. Being distracted by other people in the car

Employers may want to cut down on driver distractions by establishing certain safety rules and following these workplace safety tips:

1. Limit cellphone use when driving. Employers may want to consider banning cellphone use altogether when workers are on the road because it is their responsibility to help eliminate workplace hazards, according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They may want to include a policy that encourages workers to pick up and return phone calls only after reaching their destinations.

2. Prepare workers for emergency situations. Arizona employers may want to ensure workers know when they are legally allowed to use their cellphones and prepare to react during an emergency.

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