That distracted driving is dangerous is relatively well known, whether we follow this sound advice or not. But what happens when answering phones or text messages while driving feels like a necessity? In an article by USA Today, a study suggesting that professionals feel more pressure to use their cell phones is dissected in greater detail, and the conversation is an important one.
"Young workers - those who grew up with smartphones and constant texting- said they feel a higher degree of compulsion when it comes to answering work-related messages while driving. Among survey respondents aged 18 to 34, 37% said they felt that pressure, compared to an average of 25% across all age groups."
An interesting connection made here is the connection between answering work-related calls and messages and the dissolution of work-life boundaries. As the expectation grows (in some quarters) that workers take the office home with them, safety on the road can be compromised.
"Now, the ubiquity of smartphones has created an expectation that workers will pretty much always be available. That's not a huge problem if you're sitting on your couch... it can be a bigger issues when you're behind the wheel..."
Part of the problem may be the result of the way we think about driving time, too. A better awareness of just how much of our attention is required for safe driving should be central in the way we perceive the activity of driving. Driving is its own kind of work and doing two jobs at the same time is just not safe.
For a more in-depth take on the study, check out the article in USA Today by Daniel B. Kline.