The Miami Herald recently pointed to a new estimate from the National Safety Council that reiterates what most people intuitively know: texting and driving is a deadly combination. The total number of accidents cause by the practice continues to rise with an estimated 200,000 crashes resulting from the practice last year. In fact, a new Car & Driver magazine study found that reaction rates for drivers while texting was three to four times slower than the rate of drunk drivers.
Our Chicago truck accident attorneys at Levin & Perconti are committed to ensuring that victims of accidents on the road are legally protected when harmed by negligent truck drivers. Our office has seen more and more victims of truck accidents caused by phone distractions. The increase in these types of accidents is no doubt related to improved technology and the increasing functionality of mobile devices.
Nowadays individuals can send messages, pictures, check email, conduct research, and even watch television on their phones. The downside to these clear advances is the increased distraction that leads to deadly crashes on the road.
Those crashes are now having a unique legal impact in that business owners are open to increased legal liability when their employees cause these accidents while using their phone for business reasons.
Several cases have already been documented where companies have settled claims with victims of accidents caused by their employees using the phone for business or simply using a company-issued phone. It is important for all businesses to ensure that their employees are aware of the risk of using a phone while driving. In most cases issuing a company-wide ban on phone use while driving would serve to send a strong message that the reckless behavior is not tolerated.