The National Safety Council today released the white paper “Employer Liability and the Case for Comprehensive Cell Phone Policies,” which details the potential liability employers face when employees are involved in crashes where cell phone use is a factor.
It is the NSC’s position that nothing short of an organization-wide ban that include hands-free and handheld devices will limit the liability that employers face from distracted driving, which by some estimates account for 24% of all auto accidents.
The research includes examples of employers who have been held liable for tens of millions of dollars, including cases involving employee-owned cell phones and cars and in situations where employees were driving during non-working hours or engaged in personal phone calls.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimate on-the-job crashes cost employers more than $24,500 per property damage crash. The cost rises to $150,000 per injury and to as much as $3.6 million per fatality.