Workers and employers both have a great reason to implement a ban on cell phone use when driving while on the clock — to avoid work injury! As Colorado Springs work injury lawyers, we can tell you that auto accidents in the company car/on company time definitely fall under workman’s comp laws. And neither employee nor employer want to 1) get hurt 2) be tied up with insurance claims because of an avoidable work injury.
Many employees who wouldn’t otherwise use a cell phone while driving feel tremendous pressure from the boss to answer their company-sponsored phone every time it rings. When the boss allows no excuses, the phone gets answered even by employees who are driving. (In states where hand-held cell phone use is outlawed,we would hope this doesn’t happen.)
You would might assume a switch to a hands-free cell phone solves this entire problem. It meets state laws against hand-held cell phone use and keeps your primary focus on the road, right?
That’s what two out of three drivers believe.
But here’s the reality. In 2008, the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety did a study. In summing it up, The Foundation’s president and CEO Peter Kissinger said, “Evidence shows that using a hands-free phone while driving impairs your reaction time to critical events and increases your crash risk about the same as if you were using a hand-held phone.”
The danger of talking on the phone while driving is not decreased attention span, speed, lane changes and other driving skills. Those are affected to a small or moderate degree. The study’s researchers said hands-free cell phone use is just as bad as hand-held because, “Withdrawal of attention from the processing of information in the driving environment” while engaging in cell phone conversation causes the actual distraction. And that increases driver reaction time whether you’re holding the phone in your hand or on your head. That reaction time is critical to avoiding auto accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrians or even stops at a red light.
So there’s plenty of fodder for making a case to the boss to excuse you from answering the phone while driving, or to ask your whole company to ban it! If they won’t do it, nearly any Colorado Springs work injury lawyer will gladly take on the accident cases that are destined to come.