For many people in Missouri and other parts of the country, the work day is no longer confined to an office. It’s becoming increasingly commonplace for employees to remain connected with co-workers, supervisors, bosses, clients, leads and customers via smartphones while on the road. According to results detailed in the 2018 Distracted Driving Report, the increase in the so-called “mobile workforce” correlates with an increase in vehicle accident rates.
The report found that as smartphone ownership spiked 22 percent over a four-year period, the number of car accidents increased by more than 12 percent during the same time period. Additional data compiled by a company that makes a mileage tracking app shows that mobile workers drive more frequently than the typical American driver does. They determined that employees who stay connected while on the road travel approximately 12,000 distracted miles per year. The link between smartphone ownership and car accidents has resulted in an increase in property damage, injuries and fatalities from distracted driving based on results from available data.
The Distracted Driver Report also found that employers pay a significant price when their workers are involved in vehicle crashes. This is because employers often have to absorb an assortment of accident-related costs. In 2017 alone, it’s estimated that vehicle collisions contributed to nearly 2 million lost work days. The report also notes that workers use their phones while driving most often between the hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., although it’s also common for people to use their devices in the morning and during their evening commutes. Altogether, Americans drove more than 100 billion phone-distracted miles in 2017, according to the report.
If it’s suspected that a car accident was caused by a negligent driver, an attorney may review cell phone records to determine if the party believed to be responsible for the accident might have been making or receiving calls or texts while driving. During the investigation process, a lawyer may also look at traffic cam footage, talk to witnesses and review the driving records of all involved individuals. Victims may be entitled to appropriate compensation for medical costs and lost wages.