Photo by Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo by Intel Free Press via Wikimedia Commons.

Job pressures to stay reachable to supervisors, clients and coworkers are contributing to the distracted driving epidemic, a recent poll indicates, with 43% of employees who drive admitting they answer or initiate work-related communications while behind the wheel.

Harris Poll conducted the online survey, which the Travelers Companies insurance firm commissioned. More than 1,000 workers participated in the poll Sept. 12-14. Work-related communications while driving include making and answering phone calls, reading and sending texts, and reading and sending emails.

A total of 38% of employees surveyed indicated they feel the need to always be available for work-related inquiries and discussions. The same survey found that Generation X employees (ages 35-44) are just as likely as millennial employees (ages 18-34) to answer or make work-related communications while driving. With both age groups, a little more than half (54%) admitted to doing this, according to Travelers.

Travelers on Nov. 6 launched a national initiative aimed at better informing the public about the risks that distracted driving poses and finding ways to make distracted driving less socially acceptable.

“The National Safety Council reported more than 40,000 traffic fatalities in 2016,” said Joan Woodward, executive vice president of public policy and president of the Travelers Institute. “Distracted driving is a contributing factor and it’s a problem that won’t go away without understanding its causes and promoting safe behavior. Whether drivers are texting, eating or talking on the phone — taking their eyes off the road for even one second can cause a potentially life-changing crash.”