What’s worse than another driver who cuts you off in traffic? How about one who does so while blithely chattering away on a cellular phone.

Last week researchers released a study indicating that the use of a cellular phone while driving quadruples the risk of getting into a car accident. But the study also found that the main factor in this risk is the driver’s limitations in attention, not dexterity.

To find out how many potential threats we have to face on the road, the Business Journal Forum asked:

Do you engage in complex business discussions on a cellular phone while driving?

Scott Heaton


The Seeley Co.

“Daily. Living and working in L.A., business people spend an inordinate amount of time on the freeway system. To conduct business, a cell phone is a must and business discussions are a frequent occurrence.”

Frank Tirelli

Managing Partner

Deloitte & Touche LLP

“Definitely. The business discussions I conduct from my cellular phone are just as important and complex as those I have from my office. When you’re serving the tax needs for the caliber of clients we work with, the importance of meeting deadlines can be measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars, so accessibility is crucial. I’m frequently involved in conference calls from my cell phone where many parties from across the country are involved, such as the IRS, our Washington office, my clients and other experts needed to help make timely decisions.

Carolyn Siegal

Vice President, Business Development

Alpha Therapeutic Corp.

“I do respond to messages I get but wouldn’t enter into negotiations on a cell phone or discuss anything confidential over a cell phone. I can only really have short conversations when I’m driving. If I need to have more lengthy conversations, I pull over to the side of the road.”

Walter J. Conn


Charles Dunn Company

“No. Generally, I may talk about business, but I like to think carefully about decisions before I make them, which I can’t do when I’m driving. It’s difficult to concentrate because there are so many things happening. I’d rather wait until I have time to focus on the issues at hand.”

William J.P. Smith, Jr.

Senior Vice President

Ahlman & Associates

“Unless it’s an emergency, I don’t. If I’m going to talk serious business, it’s not the venue or environment in which I want to do that. I want to pay attention to the people around me I don’t want to kill anyone. When cellular phones became the fad 10 years ago, I was against them. I said they’re going to kill someone.”

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