The mobile workforce in Florida, as in the rest of the U.S., is becoming more connected, and with this comes a greater risk for smartphone use behind the wheel. A report from the vehicle management and reimbursement platform Motus shows just how connected the rise in smartphone use is with the rise in car crashes among mobile workers.
Called the 2018 Distracted Driving Report, it states that between 2013 and 2017, smartphone ownership went up from 55 to 77 percent among mobile workers; during that same period, the number of auto accidents increased from 5.7 million to 6.4 million. The report also states that smartphone use is prominent during the morning and evening because of commutes but reaches its peak between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Mobile workers are on the road 49 percent more often than any other type of employee. Motus has calculated that the average worker drives an astounding 1,200 “distracted miles” every year. However, this is an issue extending beyond the mobile workforce. In 2017, Americans drove while distracted by their phones for a total of 107 billion miles.
Every time they get in a crash, those who use a personal vehicle for business purposes, known as grey fleet drivers, cost employers an average of $4,400. However, Motus offers solutions that have helped businesses reduce collision rates by 35 percent.
If businesses are not careful about the mobile workers they hire, they could be held liable when those workers drive distracted and cause a crash. Under auto accident law, victims can file a claim but will have their damages lowered based on the degree to which they contributed to the crash. This is where a lawyer may come in and evaluate the case. If the grounds for a claim are strong, the lawyer might hire third parties to strengthen the case and then proceed to negotiations.