It’s important to instruct employees who make work-related phone calls from their automobiles how to use the phones safely to avoid causing potentially tragic accidents. Here are some safety guidelines recommended by the American Automobile Association and the California Highway Patrol:
- The best practice is to discourage employees from using cell phones while driving. Instruct employees that if they receive a cell phone call, they should let voice mail answer or call back when it’s safe to pull over.
- Don’t use the phone in hazardous conditions such as heavy traffic or if the road or weather conditions are unsafe.
- Dial while the car isn’t moving, such as at a traffic light or stop sign. Or ask a passenger to place the call for you and, if possible, do the talking.
- Become familiar with the cell phone’s features—such as speed dialing and redialing—so you can operate the phone without looking at it.
- Be sure the phone is within easy reach. Use a hands-free device when available. And voice-activated phone technology, increasingly available, may also be a solution.
- Don’t take notes or look up phone numbers while driving.
- If you must check information, arrange to call back and do your research while the car is stopped.
- Tell the person you’re talking to that you’re driving and need to keep the conversation brief.
- Avoid stressful or emotional conversations while driving.
- Keep your head up and eyes on the road while talking. Frequently check side mirrors.
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