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Survey: Employees feel pressured to drive while distracted

Do you feel obligated to drive while distracted for work? If so, you are not alone. According to recent surveys, many people who drive for work feel obligated to answer calls from their boss, respond to work emails and otherwise stay connected through their phones while on the road.

This troubling trend could put employees -- and other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians -- in danger. If you feel like you are obligated to engage in this or any other type of dangerous behavior, then you should know your options and rights as an employee.

Review your employee handbook

Your employee handbook may provide direction on expectations with regard to cellphone use while driving for work. In many cases, an employer will have policies that prohibit this and other types of dangerous behaviors. If those policies are in place, then you should comply with those.

Employees who still feel pressured or obligated to engage in distracted driving despite employer policies might consider taking their own steps to avoid dangerous driving. For instance, you could pull over when you need to use your phone or use hands-free technology in your car.

Discuss your concerns with your employer

If there are no policies in place, or if you feel like they are not enforced, then you can talk to your employer about your concerns. You might have to reset expectations for responses while you are on the road or you may urge them to put in place and enforce a policy that prioritizes employee safety.

Talk to an attorney

If your efforts to address unsafe situations like distracted driving fail or result in adverse events, then you can discuss your situation with an attorney.

As an employee, you have the right to work in a safe environment and to speak out when you feel you are being asked to engage in unsafe, unethical or illegal activity at work. If these or other employee rights are being violated, then it may be wise to consider legal action.

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