Jainchill & Beckert, LLC

Americans drive 107 billion miles each year while distracted

Smartphone ownership in the U.S. stood at 55 percent in 2013, but now more than three in four Americans carry the ubiquitous devices. Road safety experts say that the corresponding surge in distracted driving in Connecticut and around the country is one of the chief reasons that the number of car accidents rose by 12.3 percent from 5.7 million to 6.4 million during the same period. According to a study, drivers in the United States covered 107 billion miles in 2017 while distracted by a cellphone.

The study was released by the workforce logistics and management company Motus, and it suggests that mobile workers may be particularly prone to driving while distracted. The Boston-based firm based its research on information gathered by one of the world's largest driver databases. It shows that mobile workers in America make 49 percent more road journeys than other employees and drive about 1,200 miles each year while distracted. The data also indicates that cellphone use by drivers is at its highest between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Accidents involving cellphone use cost employers in the United States an average of $1,680 per gray market mobile worker each year. Gray market workers use their personal vehicles to make business-related journeys. These crashes also result in 1.65 million working days being lost annually according to the report.

Companies can mitigate these risks by thoroughly checking the motor vehicle records of job applicants and running regular driver's license checks on those already employed. They should also take steps to ensure that all gray vehicle workers maintain adequate levels of automobile insurance. Failure to take such actions could be cited by personal injury attorneys who have filed car accident lawsuits to establish that employers failed to meet their duty of care to others on the road.

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