Mobile technology makes it so much easier to stay connected to your work no matter where you are. But one place where it can hurt more than help is when you’re behind the wheel of a car.
Wherever you may work, a smartphone keeps you in touch with your team, on schedule, and knowing where you need to be. But with thousands of serious crashes across North America caused by distracted drivers, your most important job is to stay focused on the road when you’re driving.
Cargill, one of the largest corporations in the United States, recently banned thousands of employees from using mobile devices while driving. Many of us feel pressured to always “be on” and to be responsive to our bosses, colleagues, and clients. The bings, dings, and rings of our devices are constant reminders of our commitments. But no call, email, text, or Slack notification is worth a life.
Here are a few ways to be a productive and protected worker when the job puts you on the road:
- Let your most immediate work contacts know ahead of time that you do not respond to messages while driving
- Before starting the engine, turn off your phone and put it out of reach, sight, and ear shot
- If you have to be on the road for an extended period of time, let your closest colleagues, bosses, or clients know not to expect a response until you’re safely off the road
- Use your work calendar to block off driving time as unavailable so your colleagues know not to expect an immediate response
- Download and set up an app that sends an automated response when you’re driving to let people know you’re not able to answer or respond immediately – OneTap is a made-in-Canada app that lets you do just that
If you do have to make an urgent call or respond to a time-sensitive message, make sure you safely pull out of traffic and off the road. Only use your device when you’re fully stopped and out of harm’s way.