While crossing Cobham Bridge yesterday, I happened upon a Volkswagen Golf in the opposite direction slowly veering over the centre line and then quickly readjusting towards its rightful side of the road.
My first thought was; "wow I am glad that I wasn't more than two seconds ahead of myself" as I would almost certainly have been involved in a head-on collision.
My second thought (which proved to be 100 per cent correct was; "I bet that anything that the driver is a millennial / Gen Z playing with a cellphone".
In fact, as the driver continued her eyes clearly looked down returning to texting or whatever she was doing.
I have wrote about this little more than a year ago but find it pertinent after discussing Health and Safety risk at a recent Audit and Risk Committee.
At that very meeting the question was asked: Is our business responsible for staff who travel to clients and have an accident on the road (regardless of cause)?
I am still researching the point as I write today, but the opinions I have researched to date point to yes.
I have to say that I find it incredible the number of drivers (including those operating heavy vehicles) who drive with a cellphone to their ear.
Even more disturbing is the number of drivers you see repeatedly looking up and down at their laps. This is even more disconcerting when this is encountered as a pedestrian.
And when you try to point out the danger of this practice, the drivers concerned almost always indicate that they only have one phone in their car by extending a single middle finger.
Perhaps law enforcement needs to focus resources on this as I am certain that a number of accidents will be caused by careless cellphone use in cars.
The Health and Safety legislation and its requirements are extensive and it is important that businesses know their responsibilities and where their exposure begins and ends.
It is interesting to note that, in the world of Audit and Risk Committees, health and safety is advancing up the agenda to be one of the first and most important topics regularly discussed.
Sometimes the danger which is associated with business activities is all the doing of those who are part of it.
So it is important when it comes to risk that you have access to experts who can give a clear view of exposure and also what can be done to mitigate those risks.
In the case of Health and Safety it is important to have access to and engage experts to advise you on policy.
Having an independent review your processes and controls is also an important positive step in terms of mitigating risk.
Whilst it may seem like, on the face of it, that this is an example of regulation which may constrain business, it is crucial that you and your team are safe are work - especially in times when they are representing the business.
So, in relation to the texting driver, I will be more alert to these situations and accept the risk of the middle finger retort if I alert them to their dangerous activity.
And even if the response is similar in a business context, intervention is always necessary – because if even one accident or failure can be avoided, we are all the better for it.