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Banning Cell Phone Use While Driving Doesn’t Decrease Productivity
Posted on 03/13/2013 by Chelsea Holmes | 0 Comments
The signs dotting the parking lot outside the Owens Corning headquarters in Toledo, Ohio, make the company’s new policy clear: “No cell phone while driving.”
In the wake of the National Transportation Safety Board recommendation in December 2012 that all states ban the use of cellphones while driving, the company decided to adopt a similar ban: no employees may use their cellphones for business calls when they are driving. The policy took full effect on March 31, 2012.
Owens Corning is not the only company to institute a ban on cellphone use by employees when driving. In 2011, the National Safety Council contacted Fortune 500 companies on their policies. Of the 150 or so companies that responded, 20 percent had a full cellphone ban in place, according to David Teater, the group’s senior director of transportation strategic initiatives. The council had also seen an increasing number of companies adopt the policies in recent years.
Oil companies were the first to put policies in place. In the late 1990s, Shell International started to see an increase in fatalities among employees and contractors, mostly “due to drivers using mobile phones while driving,” said Mike Watson, Shell’s global road safety manager. A global ban on cellphone calls was put into place in late 2002, and strengthened in 2005 to include texting and hands-free technology.
Initially the sales force was concerned that the company would lose business, but that has not been the case. Many customers who have seen Shell’s success now have their own policies. From 2008 to 2011, crashes were reduced by about 57 percent, though other safety initiatives, like speed reduction efforts, also contributed to the decline, Watson said.
Surveys by the National Safety Council and others found that bans on cellphone use while driving did not decrease productivity, said Mr. Teater, adding that more than 90 percent of the respondents found productivity unchanged.
Banning the use of cellphones while driving doesn’t have to be limited to giants like Shell International. With NexTraq® DriveGuard™, all businesses can rest easy knowing that their drivers are being safe behind the wheel.
Article summarized from The New York Times.