One of the benefits of the digital age is the ability to interact with colleagues, clients and suppliers remotely from the comfort of your home or office. In fact, the American Express Global Meetings and Events Forecast suggests that 10 percent of all meetings this year will take place virtually. Yet that still leaves the other 90 percent, and we all know that there are times when only a face-to-face meeting will do, particularly for anyone with a fledgling enterprise or small business.
As a result, it is a fact of life that small business owners can spend long hours every week behind the wheel of a car. Despite cars having more safety features than ever before, America’s roads are still claiming more than 40,000 lives every year, with thousands more suffering injuries and stress. Other hazards such as road rage incidents between drivers and even intentional collisions caused by insurance fraudsters are also on the up.
The vast majority of accidents are a direct result of a driver failing to pay adequate attention to his or her surroundings, and the biggest culprit of all is the ever-present smartphone. There’s no disputing the fact that every business manager needs his or her smartphone to get through the working day, but using it while driving can and does end in tragedy. Many of the latest phones include a driving mode. Use it – it could just save your life and it will certainly save you a ticket from your friendly police officer.
Exercise defensive driving
Defensive driving is as much a matter of mindset as anything else. There are various online resources and courses for defensive driving, but the concept is very simple. When you get behind the wheel, assume that every other road user is either drunk, incompetent, talking on their cellphone or all three. By expecting the worst and giving other road users plenty of room, you will also find yourself being a more courteous driver and arriving at your destination in a calmer frame of mind.
Better late than never
It is one of oldest cliches in the world, but to quote Harsha Bhogle, cliches are cliches because they are true. Would you really care if someone arrived a little late at a meeting because they were stuck in traffic? Imagine how you would feel to hear they had been involved in a serious wreck because they were hurrying to get to you on time. Keep the priorities right, and stay safe out there.