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Employer pressure a factor in distracted driving

Though distracted driving is a form of negligence, Louisiana residents should know that there are many reasons for it. The Travelers Companies, after surveying more than 2,000 consumers and executives, has been able to identify some of them in its 2019 Travelers Risk Index.

One factor in distracted driving is workplace accountability. Eighty-seven percent of executives in the survey said they expect their workers to be connected even outside the office. Seventy-four percent do not think of distracted driving as a great concern. As a result, many workers feel pressured into answering work-related messages when on the road; 20 percent said they do, mostly out of fear of upsetting their boss.

Three out of four workplaces have a distracted driving policy, yet there is a lack of initiative in enforcing it. Only 18 percent of businesses encourage their workers to set their phones to Do Not Disturb when behind the wheel. Only 40 percent of executives know of an employee who was disciplined for non-compliance with the policy.

Only 12 percent of drivers set their phones to Do Not Disturb. Thirty-five percent say they either forget to do it or find it inconvenient. Fifty-four percent said they would stop driving distracted if asked to, yet 16 percent said they never speak up when riding with a distracted driver.

In the end, though, distracted driving is wrong and can even form the basis for a personal injury claim in the wake of a car crash. Victims, for their part, may want their case evaluated by a lawyer who focuses on auto accidents. Louisiana operates under a comparative negligence rule, so even those who are partially to blame may be eligible for damages. The amount they receive will, of course, be lowered based on that degree.

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