The Mechanical Contractors Association of America has published "Distracted Driving," the final release in its 2011 safety bulletin series.

The release corresponds with National Safety Month and the National Safety Council’s “On the phone, off the road” campaign June 26-30.

“While distracted driving has always been a concern in the construction industry, the additions of text messaging by cell phone and smart phone technology, with its ready access to the Internet and social networking, has made distracted driving much more dangerous,” said Tom Skaggs, chairman of MCAA’s Safety and Health Committee, and vice president of safety at Murphy Co. “More than 5,400 people died in crashes linked to distracted driving, and thousands more were injured in those crashes.”

The bulletin lists common in-car distractions, such as radios and global positioning systems, and how contractors can use them safely.

“Distracted driving has become such a problem that OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has established an initiative to attack distracted driving issues,” said MCAA Director of Safety and Health Pete Chaney. “The agency is partnering with government and industry, as well as the general public, to provide key information and tools to assist in combating distracted driving hazards.”

The bulletin is here.