Many commuters in the workforce these days face a dilemma: do they ensure their safety while on the road and leave mobile devices alone, or do they maximize flexibility and productivity by taking calls and getting work done on the way to and from work?
On one hand, driving while talking has been shown to be dangerous for drivers as it can distract them from the road. This makes the person’s work a liability, and can thus cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars in the event of an accident.
On the other hand, staying out of touch for 45 to 60 minutes twice a day can make employees seem less flexible and productive to their employers. In the case of important conference calls, employees may have to rework their schedule and get on the road either far earlier or far later than intended.
Staying Safe While Staying Flexible
The most reliable way to stay safe while participating in a conference call is to not be driving while doing so. This can be done by either taking public transit or by simply pulling over when the call comes. However, these may not always be viable options, especially for those with busy schedules and long commutes. Fortunately, there are still a few options available to minimize the risk.
- Hands-free set: One of the risks associated with talking and driving involves the attention needed to manipulate your phone. Looking down to see the screen, pushing buttons, and looking up contact numbers all pull your attention away from the road—often long enough to cause an accident. A hands-free set helps resolve this problem, especially when it includes voice command capabilities.
- Use a headset: In situations where a hands-free setup is not possible, listening to a call through the speakerphone is better than not at all. While the sound quality will leave quite a bit to be desired, it will allow you to participate in the call without taking too much of your attention away from the road.
- Use mobile conference-call software: There are a number of software options available for mobile devices that reduce the amount of time you spend fiddling with your mobile device to dial into conference calls. Often, these options allow you to dial in with the push of a button, making your phone much less of a liability on the road.
Your Brain on Conference Calls
While these can all reduce the risk of dialing into a conference call on the road, they don’t eliminate the risk. When the brain is focused on an activity like talking on the phone, it will likely remain focused on it, even when other things demand its attention. Therefore, if something happens on the road while you are in a conference call, your brain will most likely continue working on the task of talking on the phone rather than deal with the threat.
This is where Safe Drive Systems comes in. Our RD-140 radar system constantly scans the road ahead of you and gives you advanced warning of oncoming dangers. If you are involved in a conference call, this warning system can give your brain the cognitive cue it needs to switch your attention from the call to dealing with the situation on the road. For more information on how Safe Drive Systems can help you stay safe when commuting, contact us today.