A new study by Transurban-Fluor and AAA Mid-Atlantic notes that distracted driving continues to be a cause for wrecks and near-misses in the Northern Virginia construction corridor.
But an important culprit has also come to light in the latest survey: the boss. Of the drivers who admitted to driving distracted, more than half said they were at least occasionally responding to work-related issues.
This category of "work responders" were 10 percent more likely to get in a wreck or have a near miss and they were more likely to read and write emails and texts.
The reason given for the dangerous job/driving juggle?
- 31 percent said they believed that an immediate response was expected,
- 27 percent said they wanted to multitask and save time, and
- 17 percent said they were checking to see if a text or email was an emergency.
"Employers must actively work to change their culture and discourage employees from driving distracted by changing policy," he said. "When it comes to distracted driving, being passive won't work. Changing behavior to save lives demands aggressive action."
On Thursday, area Chamber of Commerce leaders signed a pledge to raise awareness regarding distracted driving and to discourage cell phone use while driving, particularly in work zones.
"By signing this pledge, we are demonstrating our commitment to the safety of our chamber members, our roadways and our community," said Debbie Jones, acting president and CEO of the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce.