Using cell phones or smart phones while driving is common practice today, for both personal and business use. And, more and more businesses expect their employees to be accessible via cell or smart phone at all times. As a result, distracted driving can be a serious problem on our roadways.
Consider these statistics from www.distraction.gov,
Using a cell phone while driving, whether it’s handheld or hands-free, delays a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)
- In 2009, an estimated 448,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
- Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
- The proportion of fatalities reportedly associated with driver distraction increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2009. During that time, fatal crashes with reported driver distraction also increased from 10 percent to 16 percent. (FARS and the National Automotive Sampling)
Distracted driving claims can happen at any time. Recently, a sales rep for a pharmaceutical manufacturer was texting while driving when the car in front came to a stop, signaling a left hand turn. The sales rep was distracted and did not notice that the car had come to a stop. The sales rep hit the vehicle at full speed causing auto and workers’ compensation claims that have totaled over one million dollars. This accident may have been prevented if the manufacturer had a cell phone use policy in place.