Driven to cell phone distraction
By Angela Unsworth
I come from a time before cell phones were common. The first mobile phone I ever saw was a car phone. I’m not that old, I swear!
The same friend who had this magical car phone was also the first one among us to get a more portable cell phone—the Motorola StarTac.
I didn’t get my first cell phone until I was 19. It didn’t take me long to adjust to having this new fancy tool to text all my friends with. Once I got a smartphone, it didn’t take me long to think of it as an extra arm I just couldn’t do without.
I wouldn’t give my right arm…
Now I use my phone for everything. It’s my alarm clock in the morning; the gentle music starting my day. I also use the alarm clock as a reminder to take breaks when I’m at work. It’s my camera, calendar, calculator, communication tool and provider of entertainment. It’s also the most distracting thing in my life.
Lately I’ve been thinking about the possibility that maybe I’m just too involved with my phone. I’ve pondered breaking up with it. I’m not quite ready to divorce it yet.
The idea that the phone can be dangerous is very real and here are a few instances where phone distractions make me worry:
- Distracted driving—did you know that drivers who are texting while driving are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash? It’s crazy. Here I am out on the road, driving safely, and I’m in danger because someone else might be on their phone. Whether you’re in your work truck headed to a job site, or in your car headed to the mall, put that phone away and be aware of other drivers who may be using theirs!
- Distracted at school—even the sight of your phone nearby can cause you distraction and affect your performance. This article talks about how students who participated in a study showed that their performance on complex tasks suffered when their cell phone was visible. Imagine if you missed important information while in a workplace safety course because your phone was in sight?!
- Distracted at work—this poster at work always reminds me how being distracted by your phone at work can affect your safety in the workplace.
Before the alarm bells begin to ring…
I’m not here to tell you it’s bad or wrong to use a cell phone. There are a lot of benefits to having a phone, like being able to read this blog post on the go! I just want you to think about the impact of cellphone distractions on your safety and the safety of those around you.
Do you have a safety story to share? Leave a comment or tweet us @HeadsUpAB!