A recently released report about distracted driving appears to confirm what many California residents likely suspect. The study, which was conducted by the workforce management company Motus, discovered that a 12.3 percent increase in motor vehicle accidents between 2013 and 2017 coincided with a 22 percent rise in smartphone ownership. The researchers concluded that American drivers spend more than 100 million hours distracted by phones or other electronic devices each year. They also found that phone distraction is highest on weekdays between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.
The problem is especially pronounced among mobile drivers, according to the Motus distracted driving report. The Boston-based company says that vehicle mobile workers travel about 1,200 miles each year while distracted because they take 49 percent more trips than other types of workers. These are workers who use their personal vehicles to make business-related trips. The resulting accidents cost employers about $1,680 every year for each mobile worker, according to the report.
Employers who wish to reduce these costs can take steps such as checking motor vehicle records carefully, verifying that their mobile workers have adequate auto insurance coverage and providing them with training about the dangers of distracted driving. The authors of the report say that employers who have put such policies into place have reduced their collision rates by more than a third.
Reports like this one are likely to become more common in the future due to the increasing popularity of smartphones. Distracted driving was once difficult to prove, but cell phones and other communications devices leave electronic fingerprints behind that can reveal what happened prior to a crash. This electronic evidence could also be used by a personal injury lawyer to establish negligence in a lawsuit brought on behalf of a car accident victim.