SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a member of the National Safety
Council, is working to drive awareness of the dangers of distracted
driving by encouraging the public to take the pledge to drive phone-free
during Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April.
Technology allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails and
update social media while driving – all actions that are proven to
increase crash risk. The National Safety Council observes April as
Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic.
PG&E is doing its part to reduce the likelihood of motor vehicle
accidents, joining other leading companies in prohibiting cell phone use
while driving on company time. Employees must pull over to a safe and
legal parking spot if they want to take or make a call, check email or
text. Given that PG&E employees drove 151 million miles in 2016, this
policy is a key example of the company’s commitment to help keep the
roads safer for all drivers.
“Distracted driving kills thousands of people on our roadways every
year,” said Kelly Nantel, vice president, National Safety Council. “We
applaud employers like PG&E for being leaders and empowering employees
to take control of their own safety behind the wheel. During Distracted
Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council hopes all employers
will follow this lead and ask employees to disconnect and just drive.”
Drivers talking on cell phones – whether handheld or hands-free – fail
to see 50 percent of their surroundings. Nonetheless, Americans continue
to drive distracted and struggle to accurately assess risk. An NSC
survey found that while two-thirds of drivers said another driver’s
distraction has caused them to feel unsafe, just 25 percent feel their
own distractions have put them or someone else at risk.
More than 1,700 vehicle-caused incidents in 2016 caused power outages
across PG&E’s 70,000-square-mile service area from Eureka to
Bakersfield, impacting nearly 693,000 homes and businesses. And, it is
estimated that 80% of all accidents involve some form of distracted
driving. These outages can interrupt electric service to important
facilities such as hospitals, schools and traffic lights. The average
cost for replacing a utility pole damaged in a vehicle-caused incident
was more than $10,000 this year.
“Distracted driving is one-hundred percent preventable. Unfortunately,
it is also a serious public health threat and it compromises our ability
to provide safe and reliable service to the communities that we serve.
We share the same roads, and we encourage the public to join us and take
the pledge to drive phone-free and also avoid other forms of distracted
driving,” said John Higgins, senior vice president of Safety and Health,
To learn more about the dangers of distracted driving and to take the
pledge to drive phone-free, visit the National Safety Council Distracted
Driving Awareness Month homepage at www.nsc.org/ddmonth.
About the National Safety Council
Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, nsc.org,
is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable
deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through
leadership, research, education and advocacy. NSC advances this mission
by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials
and the public on the leading causes of unintentional death, with a
focus on distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety,
prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco,
with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the
nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Jason King, 415-973-5930