The number of motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers has risen sharply in recent years, and road safety advocates in Missouri and around the country have blamed this increase largely on the use of smartphones and other internet-connected devices by motorists. Between 2013 and 2017, smartphone ownership in the United States rose from 55 percent to 77 percent while the number of traffic accidents increased by 12.3 percent to 6.4 million.
According to a recent distracted driving study from the workforce management and logistics firm Motus, mobile workers are especially prone to behind-the-wheel distractions. Mobile workers make up an increasingly large part of the American workforce, and they each drive about 1,200 miles annually while distracted according to the Massachusetts-based firm’s report. The study also reveals that mobile workers take 49 percent more journeys each year than other American drivers.
Americans as a whole drove a worrying 107 billion miles in 2017 while distracted according to Motus, and the ensuing crashes cost the economy about 1.65 million days of lost work. In dollar figures, this averages out to $1,680 for every mobile worker. The study also reveals that the afternoon hours of 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. are the peak times for distracted driving on American roads.
The study urges employers to reduce these risks by running comprehensive motor vehicle records checks on their employees and making sure that their vehicles are properly insured. When companies fail to take such common-sense steps and road users suffer injury, loss or damage as a result, experienced personal injury attorneys might argue that they failed to meet their duty to do all that they reasonably could to prevent accidents. Establishing that this duty of care existed and that it was breached are required to establish liability in car accident lawsuits.