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Driving Under the Influence of Technology

We live in a world full of distractions.  Your phone rings, your emails constantly flow, and people are sending you text messages.  There is an increasing demand in your availability.  For many people, there is a temptation to meet those demands while they are driving.  Have you considered your potential liability if one of your employees causes an accident because they are distracted while driving?  We’re here to advise you about what your company policies should look like, and defend you if the worst happens.

Employees can cause accidents while using a company vehicle, using a company cell phone, or simply by driving while on company business.  Courts are split in some of these scenarios as to what effect this can have on the employer of the driver.  But Plaintiffs have filed lawsuits, and won, against many employers.  Thus, we’ve developed policies that can help protected employers.

You want to make sure you have an employee handbook that clearly lays out the company policy for driving during company time.  If you provide the vehicle and/or cell phone, your duty could be even higher, and your policies should reflect that.  You should also make certain that you have the proper insurance to protect against potential losses.  We can review your general liability policies to ensure you have the proper coverage. If the nature of the job requires your employees to use their phones while driving, you need to consider special safety devices like hands-free phones.  For example, Uber was recently sued because their process required drivers to use their phones while transporting passengers.

If you have employees that are using vehicles for work, we’d be happy to meet with you to discuss ways that we can protect your business.

Chad Stonebrook is an Associate at Lardiere McNair, LLC.  To read more about our firm, please visit www.lmcounsel.com.

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