The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the way we work and live our lives in many ways. Being apart from colleagues or those we love has had many consequences, but one of the most positive has been the increased use of video conferencing via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Skype, FaceTime and so on.
The many benefits of such technologies has been essential for morale, to combat loneliness, and to keep businesses afloat. However one very serious negative has emerged.
Last week, the RAC announced that one in five 17-24 year old drivers, and 8% of all drivers have admitted to driving at least once whilst on a video conference.
I have seen it myself, on a networking call early one morning. Not only is the driver not concentrating on the road, but they are watching another screen. The RAC are calling for a change in the mobile phone and driving laws to ban this and give the police more powers, and I support this.
However businesses have an equally important role in preventing this dangerous activity from happening. If as a business person, someone joins a video call with you who is driving, end the call. If they are on a virtual networking meeting, the host should ask them to leave or throw them off the call. Businesses may want to update their driving for work procedures to ensure that this potentially deadly practice is stopped, with the threat of disciplinary procedures if ignored.
Coronavirus has brought much suffering and heartache to many already. Let’s not add to it with unnecessary accidents caused by video conferencing when driving.