Hands off that company cell phone while driving

Getting a company cell phone may seem like a perk but it can also make you feel like you have to be on call 24/7. While no one really wants to take a work phone call at home or while out to dinner, it is sometimes part of the job. There is one time you should never take a call on your company cell phone — when you are driving. This is because cell phone use behind the wheel is a major cause of distracted driving in Western Tennessee.

The statistics

The statistics on distracted driving in the U.S. are grim. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in 2019 distraction played a role in 15% of all auto accidents in the U.S. That year over 3,000 people lost their lives in a distracted driving accident. Moreover, over 500 pedestrians and bicyclists lost their lives at the hands of a distracted driver. Distracted driving leads to serious or even fatal car crashes and should be avoided.

Texting and driving is especially dangerous

While there are many ways a driver can be distracted, texting and driving is especially dangerous because it encompasses all three major forms of distraction. When you are texting, your eyes are on your phone not the road — a visual distraction. When you are texting, your hands are on your phone not the steering wheel — a manual distraction. Finally, when you are texting you are thinking about the message rather than the task of driving — a cognitive distraction. Research has shown that when a motorist is using a cell phone while driving their field of view is narrowed to what is right in front of them, causing them to miss 50% of the information present in their driving environment.

Texting and driving and negligence

Texting and driving can be seen as a form of negligence. All motorists have a duty of care to drive reasonably under the circumstances. Texting and driving breaches this duty. If it is foreseeable that this breach could cause a motor vehicle accident and if the breach actually does cause a motor vehicle accident resulting in damages, the person injured by the distracted driver may want to determine if they can pursue the compensation they deserve.