Friday, April 04, 2008

Report: Auto Accidents - Workers on Cellphones Cost Employers

It should not surprise anyone that cellphones are a menace in the hands of some drivers. In my short commute to work, I see drivers backing up while on a cellphone, texting while driving more than 70 mph, and worse. In one congested intersection manned by police officers, even they are typically on cellphones.

In my Atlanta paper, this report on cellphone use:

"Cellphones have spurred fantastic advances in business productivity and employee availability, allowing workers and bosses to stay in constant contact. A 2007 study says three-quarters of Americans use cellphones while driving. And a good percentage of them are surely doing company business.

But for all the work-related benefits, the devices also allow personal-injury attorneys to reach into companies' deep pockets.

In December, McGrogan's employer, International Paper, agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle an accident in which a woman's car was forced off the road and her arm was later amputated ...

Recent settlements such as these and other big-money cases nationwide have caused companies to move to protect themselves from financial liability. With increasing frequency, businesses are mandating that workers not use cellphones when driving or at least employ hands-free sets."

Interesting reading from the AJC, and you can find the rest of the article here.

This will get worse, not better.