The Dangers Of Texting And Driving In Miami: Costly to Employers As Well

January 27, 2011

text and drive 2.jpgA recent study conducted by the National Safety Council, estimated that 200,000 crashes a year result from drivers who are texting. It is important to note that these figures do not include near misses. A large number of Miami car accidents occur due to texting and driving. Another study performed by Car & Driver Magazine found that texting and driving is more dangerous than drinking and driving. This study found that people who are texting and driving have a slower response time of three to four times slower than drunk drivers.

"One of the biggest problems with drivers who text and drive is that their eyes are not focused on the road since they are looking at their cell phone. It is almost the equivalent of having someone drive with a blindfold." -Miami personal injury lawyer Michael Carmona.
Many drivers are using their cell phones as a computer to conduct business while driving around town. These drivers are not just using their cell phones to make phone calls. People are now able to use these smart phones in order to receive and send emails, browse the internet and send text messages. This presents a great danger to the safety of other drivers from car accidents throughout Miami, Kendall, Homestead and Broward. In addition it exposes their employers to liability if the employee kills or severely injuries somebody while using their cell phone for work.

In 2004 a Virginia attorney hit and killed a teenage girl while she was using her cell phone to perform work for her firm. Phone records were produced which showed her making work related calls. Her firm was scared of a potential large verdict against the firm and ended up settling with the victim's family. In 2007 International Paper Co. settled a personal injury lawsuit for $5.2 million with a car accident victim who lost her arm after a rear-end accident by a company employee. The company employee was using her company cell phone for work related business at the time of the accident.

Texting And Driving A Costly Business Risk, www.miamiherald.com, October 18, 2010.

Employers may be liable if their employees injure someone while driving and using a cell phone for work related business. There are two different theories of liability which may hold the employee liable. Respondeat superior holds that an employer may be responsible for the acts of their employee while acting in the course of employment. These acts of employment include talking on the phone, receiving and sending emails or texting for work. Another theory of liability is under direct negligence. This occurs when the employer knew or should have known that the employee was using their cell phone while driving for work-related business. Employers need to adopt and implement written policies which would prohibit their employees from using their cell phone while driving in order to avoid liability from their employees.

The Miami Florida personal injury lawyers have been helping those around the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Broward, Palm Beach, Boca, Kendall, Homestead and Coral Springs area. Our lawyers have over 20 years experience in handling car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall, product liability, medical malpractice and nursing home negligence. Please contact the Kendall personal injury lawyers of Jonathan Friedland and Michael Carmona at (305) 661-2008. Founding partner Jonathan Friedland is a board certified trial lawyer who has experience in handling over 70 jury trials.