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West Virginia Cell Phone Crash Rates Rise As Employers Try to Stop Employee Distraction

In West Virginia, Senate Bill 211 passed in 2012 to prohibit handheld phone use. The state is one of many to impose such a ban. Despite the apparent dangers of cell phone use and nationwide limitations and restrictions on handheld phones and texting, drivers continue to operate their phones behind the wheel. Employers are trying to put a stop to workers using phones on-the-job because an employer could become legally liable for a crash a worker causes. cell-phone-1254846-m

An experienced car accident lawyer could provide assistance to an injured victim in pursuing a case against a company employing a driver who causes a cell phone collision. To try to prevent this from occurring, employers are routinely turning to cell phone bans. CNBC reports more than eight million workers throughout the United States are currently banned by their employers from using phones in work vehicles or while driving for work.

Cell phone bans by employers, unfortunately, may not make much of an impact although they are a good effort by companies to stop dangerous behavior. The problem is, drivers still continue to talk, text, and use their phones for other things despite knowing phone use is illegal and dangerous. In fact, there are more people using phones today than ever before and there are more distracted driving accidents as a result. Technology could provide one answer to try to bring the crash rate down, if it is installed in vehicles.

Cell Phone Use A Leading Cause of Traffic Collisions

In 2013, 1,535,490 car accident throughout the United States were caused by the distraction of the driver operating the vehicle. A total of 27 percent of U.S. car accidents are now caused by distracted driving. The dangerous motorists who are paying attention to their phones or other distractions end up killing an average of nine people every single day in the United States.

WIVB reported on a study taking a close look at the kinds of things drivers are doing and their reasons for doing them. The research found one in 10 drivers use a cell phone to video call while they are driving a car. Selfies are taken by 17 percent of drivers and 61 percent of drivers send or receive texts. Many of the drivers doing these things justify their behavior. Of survey respondents who use social media while behind the wheel, 22 percent said they do so because they cannot help it and are addicted.

Drivers need to recognize the risk they are presenting and should embrace solutions to prevent distracted driving crashes. CNBC reported on a new technology which can be installed in vehicles to stop a driver's phone from texting, or from allowing voice phone calls or other functionality while the driver is operating the vehicle.

The new technology, as well as other similar devices, takes the decision out of the driver's hands. It still allows a driver to call 911 if an emergency happens. Motorists without the self control to stop texting on their own may wish to look into these types of devices. Employers can also consider technology to stop distracted driving, and parents may wish to think about installing a device to prevent distracted driving in the cars their teens drive.

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