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4 Ways to Stay Safe While ‘Zooming’ and Driving

November 09, 2022

Have you ever logged onto a Zoom meeting and had a colleague join from the car?

It’s a scenario that’s become more common with the rise of work-from-home and the transition to virtual meetings. Even as more employees return to the office, Zoom and its counterparts are likely here to stay.

But is it safe to Zoom and drive? Jonathan Gates, MD, a trauma surgeon and chief of surgery at Hartford Hospital, weighs in:

Distracted driving

Approximately 3,000 people die every year from distracted driving. According to the latest Connecticut Department of Transportation statistics, distracted driving caused nearly 5,000 crashes in 2020. Those numbers are expected to be even higher when 2021 statistics become available.

“95% of crashes are preventable, as they are a result of someone’s poor choice,” says Dr. Gates, who also leads the state’s “Not One More” campaign. “Not One More” seeks to educate people on the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

“When you think of impaired driving, you think alcohol and drugs, but impaired driving due to phone usage can be just as bad as driving under the influence,” says Dr. Gates.

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4 safety tips for ‘Zooming’ and driving

Dr. Gates offers these four tips to practice safe habits on Zoom:

  • If you need to drive during a Zoom meeting, don’t turn on your camera. This is unsafe for you and a distraction for others in the meeting
  • When organizing a meeting, be sure to include the ‘one-tap mobile’ option for anyone remote or driving
  • Set up the call before hitting the road using the ‘one-tap mobile’ option
  • Don’t be afraid to decline the invite and follow up with the organizer if you don’t feel safe

“If you do pull over, get off the main road and into a safe environment where you can concentrate on the call,” Dr. Gates suggests. “Don’t pull over in a break down lane or the side of the road. Pulling over does not reduce the risk unless you are in a safe place.”

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