Should businesses implement their own 'cell phone use while driving' policies

Despite differing opinions on cell phone use while driving, more states are beginning to implement restrictions on using these devices while behind the wheel. While there is no nationwide limitation on using smartphones or other gadgets, some American businesses have decided to restrict cell phone use for employees who are operating during business hours, according to the Association of Corporate Counsel.

The trend to include such clauses within the business's HR software solutions began after Coca-Cola was fined $21 million in damages after a delivery driver was found speaking on his cell phone when he struck a woman on the road. Although these types of situations have a lot to do with the person who is driving the vehicle, business owners who decide to implement company-wide driving bans are in the position to be less liable for future lawsuits.

Action to reduce the rate of cell phone-related accidents has been led by nonprofit organizations, local and state governments.

One example is Alaska, where drivers who are found to be using their smartphones on school property or within a school zone may get a driving citation, the Idaho Statesman explained. Because that law is developing at this time, the Senate Community and Regional Affairs Committee has yet to decide penalties for violation.

"I just want to say I am very supportive of this measure because it brings awareness around distracted driving," Anchorage School District Superintendent Ed Graff told the committee on passing the bill.

Since there are no firm guidelines for how managers should restrict their employees cell phone use while driving, it's incumbent on executives to design a policy that fits their organization's unique needs. If your company decides to implement a new rule, HR software is the best possible way of letting your entire staff know of any updates.