“About 98 percent of the time, driving is a very uneventful thing,” David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives at the National Safety Council (NSC), says in the video above. “It’s that 2 percent of the time where a life depends upon making the right decision that it’s critical and we’ve got to be fully engaged in the task of driving.”
Teater is discussing the elements of effective cell phone policies for organizations, an issue we began to discuss on Monday following the recent $21 million jury verdict in Texas against Coca-Cola after one of its employees was involved in a distracted driving accident. While companies should certainly create a cell phone policy for their employees, these businesses also must actively enforce such policies if they are to be effective.
According to the software company ZoomSafer, a two-week audit conducted on a fleet of 100 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)-regulated vehicles with company-issued BlackBerry smartphones and a “zero tolerance” policy for cell phone usage while driving showed that 62 percent of employees drove while distracted by their mobile devices. Furthermore, the data showed that there were 450 cell phone distractions per day, 111 distractions per hour and four distractions per mile driven.
As we wrote on Monday, we expect driving while “intexticated” to start being treated as inexcusable as driving while intoxicated. Companies looking to avoid being liable for multi-million dollar verdicts must not only create stringent cell phone policies, but diligently enforce them as well.
Wooten Kimbrough, P.A. – Orlando personal injury attorneys