An estimated 25 percent of all automobile accidents involve talking on cell phones while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that driver distraction is involved in 16 percent of fatal crashes, and that an estimated 25 percent of all crashes are due to talking on cell phones (hand held or hands-free) while driving, and another 3 percent are due to texting.
Tips for Phone-Free Driving
Before You Drive
In a 2008 survey, work-related phone calls were responsible for distracted driving 39 percent of the time. Employer policies can reduce this risk and make driving safer.
- Develop a habit of turning off your cell phone when you get in your vehicle, and turning it back on when you are done driving.
- Put your cell phone in your trunk to avoid temptation.
- Record a voice mail greeting telling callers it is not safe to make calls while driving, and you will return their call as soon as you are able.
- Organize your route and schedule to allow time to make and return phone calls from the parking lot of one location before leaving to drive to the next one. This strategy has helped employees who drive frequently to maintain productivity and accessibility.
While You Drive
- Do not make or answer cell phone calls, even with hands-free and voice recognition devices. If you must make an emergency call, leave the road and park in a safe area.
- Do not send or read text messages or email.
- Have a passenger use the phone for you.
- Let someone else drive so that you can freely make or receive calls.
- Enjoy phone-free driving; focus on the road. Protect your life and those around you.
Are You at Risk from Distracted Driving?
While driving, do you . . .
- Think you can safely look away for more than one second?
- Eat, drink, shave, or engage in other personal activities?
- Text or talk on your cell phone?
- Answer your cell phone without stopping in a safe place?
- Listen to anything that requires ear buds in your ears?
- Feel fatigued or drowsy?
- Try to deal with children or pets without stopping?
If you said yes to even one item, you are at risk.
Nearly 80% of all crashes and 65% of all near-crashes involved driver distraction during the last 3 seconds before the incident.
Sample Voice Mail Greetings
Your phone can be a way to help others avoid the risks of distracted driving. Try the following voice mail greetings to notify callers that driving and calling don't mix.
"Hello, this is _________. I am either away from my phone or on the road, and for safety reasons, I don't use my phone while driving. Please leave your name, number, and a brief message. I will return your call as soon as I am able. Thanks so much."
"Hello, this is _________. I am either on the phone or out of the office. If you are calling on a cell phone while driving, please hang up and call me back when you are no longer driving. Otherwise, a leave your name, number, and a message. I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you."