Siegal & RichardsonLLP

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Distracted driving is hard to get past

Distracted driving is a habit that many people in California and elsewhere may engage in. Despite the dangers of doing so, employers may still demand that employees be connected at all times, which may make it hard to put down the phone. This was one of the takeaways from the 2019 Travelers Risk Index. The survey asked roughly 2,000 people to share their thoughts about distracted driving. Among those who took part, 44 percent said that texting or emailing was a common cause of distracted driving.

Other common causes of distracted driving included taking pictures, using social media or shopping. Although these activities can be dangerous, 11 percent of the respondents said that it would be difficult to not text or shop online while driving. Furthermore, 19 percent said that they would engage in such behaviors regardless of the legality of doing so.

Employers generally don't see distracted driving as something to worry about even though an accident can be costly. An accident that results in death can cost $1 million per fatality while crashes that cause injuries cost about $78,000 per injury. Workers who were surveyed said that they thought that time spent in the car was a good time to get work done. They also said that not being available could upset their boss or cause them to miss an emergency at work.

Distracted drivers who cause car accidents may be liable for the damages. If they are driving an employer's vehicle, the employer may be liable as well. An injured person may be able to receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages and lost future earnings. The estate of a person killed in an accident may be entitled to similar damages. An attorney may help a victim pursue compensation inside or outside of a courtroom.

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