Despite numerous public awareness campaigns, distracted driving continues to increase. A recent study done by AT&T revealed the shocking truth that almost half of all adults are guilty of texting while driving. In addition to texting, talking on the phone and browsing the Internet meet the definition of distracted driving. Studies show that distracted driving increases your risk of being in an accident 23 times more than a non-distracted driver. These statistics could have serious legal and financial implications for employers, considering that 18 million commercial vehicles take to the road every day in the U.S. Many of those vehicles are driven by employees who were given mobile devices by their companies to help them operate more efficiently and consequently, employer liability is increasing in accidents involving a distracted driver. Last year, a plaintiff received $21 million in damages when the driver of a Coca-Cola truck hit them while talking on her cell phone. At the time, Coca-Cola had a vague policy regarding the use of mobile devices by employees driving company vehicles. As a result, as many as 80% of employers now forbid their employees to use company-issued devices when driving for their businesses. This increased from just 15% a few years ago. Many employers have policies that differ according to the role of the employee. Recently, a report showed that a large company had purchased 12,000 smart pads to help facilitate workflow. According to company policy, however, the employees are only allowed to use the pads for help with navigation. Many smaller businesses would be devastated by a lawsuit such as Coca-Cola’s, and the National Safety Council urges businesses to have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to use of mobile devices while employees are driving company vehicles. Some companies are installing applications that will shut off any company-issued devices when the vehicle reaches a minimum speed. Safety is not always an easy sell to large corporations focused on the bottom line, but employers are being urged to think about mobile device usage policies in company vehicles, especially when those devices are company-issued. It’s an undeniable fact that distracted driving, especially behind the wheel of a company vehicle, is a huge risk for any business. Despite the prohibition of texting and driving in 39 states and D.C., motorists regularly violate the law, including the millions behind the wheel of a company car.
Contact Seattle Personal Injury Lawsuit Attorneys
If a distracted driver has injured you or someone you love, an experienced Seattle car accident attorney can help. In many cases, there may be multiple parties responsible for your accident and the injuries sustained. If an employee was driving distracted while on-the-job, the employer may also be liable—especially if they did not have a zero tolerance cell phone policy in place. The Seattle car accident injury attorneys at Phillips Law Firm can help. If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle personal injury lawsuit attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.