While the recommendation of the National Transportation Safety Board to ban all use of new and old cell phones while driving a motor vehicle in the United States has met with controversy and been nixed by none other than the US Transportation Secretary, some public-entity and corporate risk managers have been applauding the suggestion.
“As a risk manager, I support the implementation of a total ban on cell phone usage,” says Lori Seidenberg, who is a director with the Risk and Insurance Management Society Inc and an insurance risk manager at New York City’s Centerline Capital Group. “Using a cell phone while driving is a hazard for both the passengers in the car you are in and the cars around you.” Although some states have banned the use of handheld cell phones, most still allow hands-free usage, which Seidenberg claims is just as bad. “This too is hazardous, as you still need to look at your phone or PDA to answer or dial the call.” While Seidenberg admits she can understand the perspective of corporations, who want employees who are travelling to be continue to be productive by multi-tasking, she says that such firms need to decide what is more important, “productivity or a risk of injury or death by distracted driving?”
InVentiv Health Inc director of risk management, Daniel Rogers, agrees, telling NU News Online Service that hands-free technology does not alter the fact that any distraction is dangerous.