hand on steering wheel background is rainy road with trees on both sides


Hands free or not, cell phone use while driving is dangerous. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and companies such as Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG & E) are reviewing their phone use policies in an effort to reduce distracted driving incidents.

A recent National Safety Council survey found that while two-thirds of drivers said another driver’s distraction has caused them to feel unsafe, just 25 percent feel their own distractions have put them or someone else at risk.

PG & E, a member of the National Safety Council, is working to drive awareness of the dangers of distracted driving by encouraging the public to take the pledge to drive phone free.

“Distracted driving kills thousands of people on our roadways every year,” said Kelly Nantel, vice president, National Safety Council in a statement. “We applaud employers like PG&E for being leaders and empowering employees to take control of their own safety behind the wheel.  During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council hopes all employers will follow this lead and ask employees to disconnect and just drive.”

PG&E employees drove 151 million miles in 2016. As a result, the company has taken the pledge to reduce distracted driving by prohibiting cell phone use while driving on the job. According to the policy, employees must pull over to a safe sport to take or make a call, check email or text.

In addition, PG&E is calling on other companies, along with the NSC, to take the pledge to educate employees about the dangers of distracted driving.

“Distracted driving is 100 percent preventable. Unfortunately, it is also a serious public health threat and it compromises our ability to provide safe and reliable service to the communities that we serve,” said John Higgins, vice president of Safety and Health, PG&E. “We share the same roads, and we encourage the public to join us and take the pledge to drive phone-free and also avoid other forms of distracted driving,”

An estimated 80 percent of all accidents involve some form of distracted driving.

To learn more about the dangers of distracted driving and to take the pledge to drive phone free, visit the National Safety Council Distracted Driving Awareness Month homepage.