According to a survey released by the National Safety Council (NSC) and Truce Software (a company focused on decreasing workplace distraction and improved worker safety based in Lisle, Ill.), drivers remain “persistently unable” to disconnect from behind the wheel, even ten years after Distracted Driving Awareness Month (October) was introduced.
According to the NSC, 48 states ban texting while driving, and 25 states ban handheld use of cell phones.
In the survey of 2,001 registered drivers ages 25 and older across the country, 76% said they are “very willing” to wear a mask in public, but only 62% are “very willing” to obey state laws prohibiting cell phone use while behind the wheel.
“The finding speaks to a long-standing behavior change dilemma,” said the NSC. “Many people will rightly take steps to mitigate immediate risks to their safety, especially if they believe the measure will be temporary, such as wearing a mask, but widespread behavior change that can drive down chronic safety incidents, such as motor vehicle crashes, often take much longer.”
As a result, the NSC and Truce are urging employers to enact districted driving policies in their workplaces to compensate for many drivers’ unwillingness to adhere to state laws.
“Further, NSC and Truce urge employers to promote a safe driving culture, something the survey indicates many companies may not foster effectively enough,” the NSC said.
In fact, according to the NSC survey, 46% of respondents said that “demands or pressure from work” lead them to glance, read or send emails while driving.
According to the survey, such employer policies can be effective, noting that 56% of respondents believe employer policies are effective deterrents to distracting driving.
“Clearly, we continue to accept crashes and near misses as the cost of connectivity,” said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the NSC. “As we mark the 10-year anniversary of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we must commit to improvement, particularly with a national pandemic compounding traffic safety even further.”