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Area Safety Manager Priscilla L.: It Can Wait!

It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month at Republic Services and we’re excited to chat with Priscilla L, Area Safety Manager in San Pablo, CA, to better understand how dangerous distracted driving is and what we can do to prevent distracted driving.

Q. First, what defines distracted driving?
A. Distracted driving is the act of driving a vehicle while mentally or physically engaged in another task.

Q. I’ve heard the only distraction a driver cannot control is sneezing; what are types of distractions drivers can control?
A. Drivers can avoid all types of multi-tasking that will divert their attention from driving. This can include the use of electronic devices, eating/drinking while driving, talking on the phone, and even being “lost in thought.” These can all be prevented with awareness and resetting your focus.

Q. What do you consider the worst distraction?
A. Smartphones are the worst type of distraction! Texting and talking on the phone while driving are extremely dangerous activities and the most obvious, but it doesn’t stop there. We essentially have a mini-computer with us at all times. We can play games, shop online, look at social media, read articles, pay bills, the list goes on and on. The endless options at our fingertips takes our consciousness away from driving to a task that can wait!

Q. How is Republic Services taking a stand against distracted driving to keep our employees safe on the road?
A. Republic Services has taken decisive action in the battle against distracted driving. Republic is a part of a coalition called Together for Safer Roads which brings companies and communities together with the intention of finding actionable solutions in preventing on-road fatalities. Implementing new technology, our stellar training program, and collateral created for all employees shines a spotlight on how to avoid distracted driving. Republic has also been unwavering in clearly communicating that our top priority is the safety of our employees. There is nothing more important than every employee getting home safely to their family at the end of each work day. Nothing is worth risking your safety.

Q. Clearly, distracted driving is a big problem; but what can we all do to prevent it?
A. First, make a personal commitment to avoid distracted driving. Second, identify the distractions you are most prone to engage in. Third, take intentional steps to eliminate those distractions before you hit the road. For example, by placing electronic devices out of sight and reach, you will remove the impulse of giving that email notification a “quick glance.” Lastly, always remember your “why.” Why do I avoid distracted driving? My daughter, Audrey.

A huge thank you to Priscilla for spending some time with us and sharing helpful information about how to prevent distracted driving.

If you haven’t signed the Safe Driver Pledge yet, click here.