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July 23, 2014 at 4:00 AM

Q&A: Don’t back down when co-worker drives dangerously




By Marie G. McIntyre / McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Q: I’m afraid that I could be hurt or killed by colleagues who insist on texting while driving. Recently, one of my co-workers offered to drive us to a meeting with a new client. On the way back to the office, “Brad” received a text from his daughter and began reading it while we were in heavy traffic.

When Brad started typing a reply, I told him that this made me uncomfortable. He indignantly replied that he is a good driver who has never had an accident. Ever since that incident, Brad has made mocking comments to others about my “texting paranoia.” How should I handle this?

A: Your reckless colleague is acting like an idiot.

If Brad is too stupid to comprehend that one cannot simultaneously type, steer and watch the road, then someone should show him the statistics on people who have been killed or injured due to texting behind the wheel.

As long as he continues this practice, you should avoid riding with him.
However, you may find that Brad’s contemptuous account of your “texting paranoia” actually turns out to be helpful. A reputation for being concerned about distracted driving might cause others to curb their bad habits whenever you’re a passenger. But if they don’t, you should continue to speak up, for their sake as well as your own.

Because distracted driving is a serious and widespread problem, every organization should consider having a widely publicized prohibition against it. Anyone wishing to promote this idea with their employer can find a sample policy on the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Submit questions to Marie G. McIntyre at

More in Career Advice | Topics: conflict, etiquette, HR


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