Distracted driving - which occurs when people take their hands off of their steering wheels, take their eyes off of the road or think about something other than driving - is increasingly becoming a problem on America's roads. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, someone is killed in a distracted driving related accident every 23 seconds.
Distracted Driving and Employers
The cost of distracted driving is not just personal. Over the years, accidents caused by distracted driving have become the number one reason for occupational fatalities - and for this reason, companies needs to take this trend seriously.
According to a study conducted by ZoomSafer, many companies have a written distracted driving policy for their employees, but many of them do not enforce it - and when they do, it's only after an accident has already taken place. But having a policy is not enough: If a claim is brought against a company because of an accident caused by an employee, the company must be able to prove that it is actively enforcing the policy - and meting out punishment for workers who do not comply.
In addition, if a company requires employees to check e-mail and take phone calls outside of the office, they must also provide a mechanism - such as hands-free equipment - that allows workers to stay safe while they're on the road.
"The fact that so many companies are telling employees to put the phone down while driving is encouraging from a policy perspective - however, from a practical perspective, it's simply not enough to change behavior," ZoomSafer CEO Matt Howard said in a statement. "To truly change behavior and fully protect themselves from liability, companies must actively measure and enforce employee compliance with cell phone use policies."
If you have been injured as a victim in a distracted driving related accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Speak to a personal injury attorney to help determine who may be liable for your injuries and discuss your legal options for recovery.
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