DATE: October 2, 2000
INCIDENT TYPE: Auto accident
LOCATION: District 6
TYPE OF WORK ACTIVITY: Talking on cellular telephone
THE INCIDENT: On September 12, 2000 a
Caltrans employee was having a business conversation on a cell
phone while driving a state vehicle. After the employee stopped
for a stop sign, he pulled into the path of an approaching vehicle.
While still on the phone, he realized there was a vehicle approaching,
panicked and stopped. The oncoming vehicle skidded into the state
vehicle causing the state driver to suffer a broken nose, and
possibly a mild concussion.
CONCLUSIONS: The CHP officer investigating
this report wrote "Öan associated factor in the cause of
this collision was P-1ís (state driver) inattention while speaking
on his cell phone."
RECOMMENDATIONS: These kinds of accidents
can easily be avoided by pulling safely off the road to take care
of your telephone business. If this is not possible, consider
the following guidelines:
- Learn to operate the phone without looking at it.
- Donít get into heated conversations while driving.
- Use a hands-free device.
- Donít take notes or look up phone numbers while driving.
- While talking, keep your head up and your eyes on the road.
- Dial while the vehicle is not in motion, at a signal or stop
- Use the speed dial feature available on most phones.
Bottom line is if you canít maintain an
awareness of your surroundings and focus on your driving while
talking on a phone or radio, DONíT DO IT.
HEADQUARTERS OFFICE OF SAFETY AND HEALTH (916)