Car office a threat to driver safety (6/1)
The cell phone rings, a fax comes in, and you juggle your coffee as you check e-mail, all while driving down the highway.
It's a trend that's heading for trouble unless employers ban workers from multi-tasking behind the wheel, a consultant told a workplace safety group meeting in London earlier this week, according to the London Free Press.
"If your car is your office, it's a temptation to have all those devices in them, but it's not a good idea," said Vic Whitecroft of the Transportation Health and Safety Association, speaking at a conference of the Industrial Accident Prevention Association.
Research shows distracted drivers play a part in 25 percent of all North American road accidents, he said.
Along with all the electronic gear, many drivers eat, drink, read, comb hair and do other tasks as they drive.
Whitecroft said all cell calls, even those on hands-free units, can distract drivers, effectively making them "blind" to sudden hazards such as children or animals darting onto roads.
He said companies must take the lead with internal policies that prevent employees from multi-tasking behind the wheel.
"There are distractions we all have to deal with while driving. But we choose to be distracted by cell phones and pagers, and that's what we have to eliminate," he said.