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May 7, 2009

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Miscellaneous – driving at work- Don’t let employees get driven to distraction

Interactive Driving Systems is advising companies to tighten and enforce policies limiting the use of of all mobile communication equipment while driving.


It follows a significant legal case in which a salesperson, Marie

Howden, was found guilty of causing death by careless driving, after

she crashed and killed another driver while using a legal hands-free


The case adds weight to a growing body of research that looks at the dangers of using mobile communication devices – whether mobiles or hands-free phones – while behind the wheel. Studies from the Transport Research Laboratory, for example, concluded that all car-phone conversations and texting result in more drifting in lanes and slower reaction times.

Interactive Driving Systems suggests companies employ a zero-tolerance approach to breaches of the law or company policy relating to the use of mobile equipment while driving. It also cautions employers to think about their organisation’s culture of using such equipment, and, in cases where they contact an employee who may be driving, advises them to adhere to the following three points:

  • ask if it is safe to talk;
  • state how urgent the call is; and
  • keep the message brief and ask the driver to call back when they stop. Among the pointers for drivers, the company advises them to:
  • be fully aware of the legal requirements and company policy regarding use of mobile communication equipment;
  • plan each aspect of their journey, so that they can take regular breaks to deal with calls; and 
  • allow calls recieved while driving to divert to voicemail.

For more information, visit


Driving for Better Safety - Free eBook download

This eBook will guide you through some of the key understandings you need to be able to manage driver safety effectively and, at the end, provide a series of free resources you can access to help you ensure your own driver safety management system is robust, legally compliant and in line with industry-accepted good practice.

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