MONROE, Louisiana. In 2015, 3,477 people were killed behind the wheel as a result of distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, another 391,000 people were injured in crashes where another driver was distracted.
Policymakers, advocates, and activists have been struggling for years to find ways to curb these numbers. Cell phones are known to be highly addictive. It can be difficult to resist picking up your phone when you hear you’ve received a message while you are on the road. Yet, some advocates claim that the best way to get faster change is to ask businesses and large companies to ban cell phone use while driving. CNN spoke to activists who believed that companies could reach larger groups of people who may be more inclined to bring the company message home, into their own lives.
Companies who ban cell phone use during work hours can also protect themselves from costly lawsuits. Individuals who have been injured as a result of texting and driving may have the right to seek compensation for their medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages. Just one accident can cost a company thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, or more in damages.
Would it work? According to CNN, when businesses adopted similar practices surrounding seat belt use, they helped change the culture of safety in America. It may be difficult to fathom, but there was indeed a period of time where Americans were slow to adopt wearing a seat belt. When companies required workers to use a seat belt while driving on company time, employees eventually brought their good habits home with them. The hope is that something similar would happen if companies banned the use of cell phones for their employees.
Yet, only 20% of Fortune 500 companies currently have bans on cell phone use by their employees. Some companies worry that banning cell phones will lower productivity. However, many companies who have implemented the bans have found this not to be the case. In fact, splitting your attention between two tasks has been shown to reduce your effectiveness in both tasks.
More companies may be moved to enact cell phone bans in order to reduce liability. Cell phone use behind the wheel increases a driver’s risk of an accident fourfold. As more companies face lawsuits when drivers text and drive or conduct company business on the phone in their cars, more businesses may choose to change their phone policies.
Victims of distracted driving also have a voice. If you or a loved one has been hurt due to another person’s choice to text and drive or talk on the phone while behind the wheel, you may be entitled to seek a recovery under the law. Campbell, House & Cummins are car accident lawyers in Monroe, Louisiana who can help you fight for your rights under the law. We can hold distracted drivers accountable and offer you an honest assessment of the value of your case. Visit us at www.318law.com.