Do not disturb

Blocking cell phone transmissions is one way to keep workers safer while driving

Millions of workers face motor vehicle traffic hazards every day as operators, passengers and/or pedestrians. For operators of large commercial vehicles, there are many federal safety rules and regulations that offer some protection, but what about workers who only occasionally drive company vehicles, such as pickup trucks? What protects them from common hazards while operating a vehicle for work?

The stats

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the leading cause of workplace deaths in the U.S. is automobile crashes. Although some states have banned use of handheld cell phones while driving, NSC estimates about 25 percent of all automobile crashes involve cell phone use. With more than 90 percent of U.S. adults owning cell phones, it's not difficult to understand why there are so many crashes. Mobile devices have changed the fabric of U.S. culture. As our dependency on mobile devices becomes more prevalent, the ability for others to reach us has become increasingly easier and, unfortunately, that can lead to distractions during time spent in a motor vehicle.

To address this issue, motor vehicle companies have begun developing systems within their vehicles to assist with calls and texts, including hands-free, Bluetooth, voice-activated and voice-to-text technology and even in-vehicle Wi-Fi. But sadly, NSC figures show these hands-free options to enhance motor vehicle safety are not having the desired effect.