Distracted Driving Toolbox Talk

Distracted driving is dangerous at any time, but especially on the construction site. Inform field teams on the dangers and how to avoid phone distraction.

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Distracted Driving Safety Talk

Did you know that texting while driving is one of the most dangerous things you can do? In fact, you are six times more likely to crash while texting than you are while driving drunk. Now, this isn’t an endorsement for drunk driving, rather a warning that texting while driving can be just as - if not more - dangerous, especially while working in the construction industry.

Why is Texting on the Construction Site Such an Issue

Distractions at the workplace have always been an issue since the beginning of time. Fortunately, as time has gone on, more and more safety measures have been put into place. This means even if you are distracted, the chances of an accident are slim. If you’re paying attention to the job, the chances are almost non-existent.

However, cell phones - especially smart-phones - have created a whole other level of distractedness. This can affect your productivity on the job, while also placing you at a larger risk of workplace related accidents.

How Dangerous Can it Be?

Those who don’t work in the construction industry may be completely unaware how much driving is involved. Of course, you drive back and forth from workplace to workplace but you also need to drive to transport materials or people. Texting while driving - especially texting while driving heavy machinery - not only places you at risk, but everyone around you. Here are some statistics involving texting while driving:

  • The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.
  • In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in distraction-related crashes.
  • Nearly 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving.
  • 1 out of every 4 car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
  • Texting while driving is 6x more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
  • Answering a text takes away your attention for about five seconds. Traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough time to travel the length of a football field.
  • Texting while driving causes a 400% increase in time spent with eyes off the road.
  • As you can see, texting while driving increases the likelihood of an accident expeditiously. The same can be said for texting while on the job. Remember, this isn’t a desk job. Construction work requires you to be around heavy machinery that can be quite dangerous if not handled with care and attention.

    What You Can Do Instead

    Now that it’s abundantly clear just how dangerous texting on the worksite can be, how can you avoid it; because let’s be honest, it’s easier said than done. Here are some of the ways you can avoid texting while on the job for your own safety and for the safety of those around you:

  • Put your cell phone away while on the job - The easiest way to not be on your phone is to not have it on you at all.
  • Put your phone on airplane or do not disturb mode when working - Of course, not having your phone at all can be a tough ask. What if an emergency pops up? Putting your phone on airplane mode or do not disturb limits the amount of notifications you get, reducing the chances of you getting distracted.
  • Pull over to respond to a text or answer the phone - If you are driving and you simply can’t wait to respond to a text or answer the phone, pull over.
  • Urge the people around you to put their phone away - We know you don’t want to nag your co-workers but remember, you’re at risk when they are distracted on their phones. If you see someone on their phone, don’t be afraid to ask them to put it away.
  • Avoid other drivers who are on their phone - If you are driving, try to maintain a safe distance from any driver you believe is distracted. This will lower the chances of an accident.
  • Of course, the best option is not having your phone on you altogether. However, in this day and age, that can be a next to impossible task. That’s why we recommend the safety measures listed above. These measures will help lower your risk, keeping you and the people around you safe.

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