|Risk Management is an important topic for organizations wishing to make their companies safe, and for companies with mobile sales or service workforces this is an even bigger challenge. Too often, employees review or respond to messages when in compromising situations; in traffic, driving or at stop lights. Make driving while on the job safer!
A growing number of lawsuits have resulted in significant awards against employers when their employees are involved in automobile crashes while using a cell phone. Following are some examples:
$24.7M: A truck driver was not looking when his truck hit 10 vehicles stopped in backed-up traffic because he was checking his cell phone for text messages. The crash resulted in three fatalities, numerous serious injuries, and multiple lawsuits against the driver and his employer.
$21.6M: A jury found the employer liable where the employee driving a company car rear-ended another vehicle while she was talking with her husband on a cell phone, causing that vehicle to cross into oncoming traffic. The ensuing accident resulted in a fatality.
$4.1M: The employee of an electrical contractor was lost and using the GPS on his cell phone while driving a company car. He ran a red light and seriously injured a 70-year-old woman.
$750,000: An employee was involved in a crash while on his way to work. The court held the employer liable although the employee was off-the-clock because there was evidence the employee was involved in a cell phone conversation regarding company business at the time of the crash. The employer decided to settle the case while the jury was deliberating.