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May 29, 2014

BYOD and Distracted Driving – Making the Connection

Filed under: General HR Buzz,Safety2:13 pm

Some workplaces have begun encouraging employees to BYOD, “Bring Your Own Device” to work.  The use of smartphones and tablets are common and necessary in most businesses to enhance accessibility and communication.   BYOD, the practice of employees using their own mobile electronic devices for both personal and business purposes, has become more accepted as the workforce evolves into a more technologically advanced age.  With this new practice comes new risk.

One such area for BYOD workplaces, is making the connection of acceptable use of such mobile devices and driving safely.  The fact cannot be overlooked that distracted driving is at epidemic levels, much of it due to the use of electronic devices while driving.  Implementing a BYOD/distracted driving policy should reflect in part, that regardless of ownership of the device, employee or employer, certain restrictions shall apply such as:

  • Prohibiting the use of a hand-held device while operating a motor vehicle, to include answering and making phone calls; reading and responding to email; sending or receiving texts;
  • Requiring employees to drive to a safe place to park the motor vehicle to use a cell phone or other mobile device;
  • Changing voicemail greetings to inform callers that the phone will not be answered nor will messages/calls be returned while the employee is driving. 

It is noteworthy, that just because an employee is using their personal device, an employer can still be liable for an employee’s distracted driving that has fatal consequences.

Having a policy is a great start, but it needs to be enforceable.  The policy should be clearly stated so that it is not difficult for the average employee to follow, nor should an employee be punished for not answering the boss’s call immediately while driving!

 

Sources:   DiBianca, Molly.  “The Role of a Distracted-Driving Policy in a BYOD Workplace.”  Available here.
www.nhtsa.gov

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