There is no way around it: Car accidents are on the increase. While there have been many potential reasons listed for this, one common cause is distracted driving. Studies show that people are more likely to be on their electronics than ever before and that these devices can cause accidents. But should the inquiry stop there? Not according to one auto insurance site, The Zebra, who says that there is a serious problem behind the scenes that should be addressed: The workplace culture in the United States.
What the Study Reveals
The study, completed The Zebra, says there is one particular demographic that has a bigger risk of needing to answer texts or emails while driving: The worker. They find that due to the fact that most everyone now has a smartphone, bosses are requiring that their employees essentially be always available – which leads them to answer their phone or answer a text even when it is not safe to do so.
The Risks of Distracted Driving
The study found that many workers feel that they have to answer a text or email from work no matter what they’re doing. It found that younger workers – or those who grew up with smartphones and the ability to constantly text – felt the most pressure to answer any work-related text or call while they were driving. About 37% of those in the study who were between 18 and 34 felt they must respond while only 25% of people across all age groups felt the same.
It may not seem that quickly checking a message makes a big difference but the truth is quite different. The fact is that an average of nine people lose their lives each day in distracted driving accidents – that is about 3,500 each year. The negative economic impact of distracted driving is about $40 billion each year. How bad is that? Consider that DUI crashes cost $44 billion each year.
The Liability Issues Involved in Distracted Driving
Who is at fault if a person checks their work messages while driving and causes an accident? Depending on the specifics of the case, it could be that the driver and their employer is responsible for the accident. In short, if the driver is required by their employer to respond to all texts and calls, and doing so causes an accident, then the employer could be partially at fault.
On the other hand, if the driver simply feels this pressure without any official policy from their employer, then the employer may not be at fault at all. If you have been the victim of an accident involving distracted driving then we urge you to contact a personal injury attorney right away for a free legal consultation.