Cell phone use in a car is dangerous to everyone on the road. But it can also be dangerous to companies’ wallets.
Some recent examples of employers taking the hit because of employees’ carelessness:
- A Virginia lawyer struck and killed a 15-year-old girl while talking to a client on her cell phone. The girl’s family sued the law firm for $25 million, but the company settled for an undisclosed amount.
- An Arkansas lumber supplier was forced to pay $16.2 million to a woman who was hurt in accident involving one of the company’s employees. The employee was talking on a cell phone at the time of the accident.
- A company in Florida shelled out $21 million to woman struck by a salesman who was talking on his cell phone while driving to a sales call.
Many states have laws banning cell phone use and/or text messaging while behind the wheel, but employees should go above and beyond what the law requires and ban all unsafe driving.
Experts say you must:
- create a policy
- tell employees what the policy is, and
- monitor and enforce the policy.