Click here to pledge to stop multi-tasking while driving.

I will never win any “good driver” awards. My fear of the road, or rather of other drivers, means I mooch rides when I can and backseat drive (literally sitting in the back seat), demanding people go slow and pay attention. My personal experiences have given me good reason to be a nervous Nelly.

Every day there are news stories of accidents, some fatal, caused by drivers who aren’t paying attention. Recently, my colleague Chris de la Huerta and I were driving back to the office and were amazed as the car in front of us plowed into the car ahead of it for no reason. We weren’t near a light or a stop sign and traffic was flowing normally. The driver just looked down for a bit and you know the rest of the story.

I immediately came back to the office and wrote our “Never, Ever Initiative,” which prohibits multi-tasking while driving. This initiative is becoming part of our new hire orientation and we are asking all employees to sign the pledge and put safety first. We’re also providing employees with a hands-free Bluetooth device upon turning in their pledge.

We’re a society that loves to multi-task while we drive. However the statistics do not play in our favor:
  • Driving while distracted is a factor in 25 percent of police reported crashes.
  • The No.1 source of driver inattention is use of a wireless device. (Virginia Tech/NHTSA)
  • Drivers that use cell phones are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (NHTSA, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)

Of course, any day now there will be statistics about companies being sued because their employees caused accidents while multi-tasking. So, maybe some people will sign the pledge for themselves. Others will do it because it’s the right thing to do. Maybe some will do it because good corporate risk managers say it’s a good tool to avoid lawsuits.

But whatever your reason, just do it. Please help us spread the word and get your friends and family to sign the pledge by adding your name in the comment section below. Invite your workplaces to download and customize the pledge as well.

Click here to view and download rbb’s “Never, Ever Initiative.”

Believe it or not, you can also use your smartphone to prevent multi-tasking while driving – and earn some money too. (Really!) Although there are apps that just block phone features like True SMS-Live Saver, SafeCellApp ($11.99) will actually reward you safe driving points that are redeemable at certain vendors.

So, as an added bonus, we’re giving away a $15 iTunes gift to the first 10 people who pledge,which can be used toward the purchase of SafeCellApp. Pledge by adding your name to our comments below!

Live long and drive safely!

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