Is work fueling the distracted driving problem?

| Dec 1, 2020 | Car Accidents

Work does not just stay at the office anymore. With the advent of technology like smartphones and video chatting, bosses are expecting more from their workers than perhaps ever before. Like a lot of people in Texas, your boss might expect you to answer work calls or reply to emails regardless of what else you may be doing. Unfortunately, this extra work pressure is making the distracted driving problem worse.

Distracted driving certainly is a huge problem. Around 80% of drivers talk on the phone when they are behind the wheel. At least 30% of drivers admit they have nearly caused accidents while driving too. Since these figures were self-reported in a Travelers Companies survey, it is possible that the real numbers could be much higher.

What if your boss is calling?

Connected culture — the idea that people should be constantly connected to their devices and available — could literally be killing workers. In a survey of company executives, nearly 75% said they do not think distracted driving is a big concern. Instead, these executives seem to prioritize being “on” all the time. That same survey found that 87% of executives think they should be able to either always or frequently contact employees outside the office.

This has created a dangerous situation for drivers. Of employees who reply to work messages while driving, 20% say it is because their bosses will be upset if they do not. Half of those workers said they have to always be available, even when they are driving. Perhaps most surprising — and terrifying — is the 17% of people who said they use driving time to get lots of work done.

The problem with smartphones

Smartphones are great tools for staying connected, playing games or even reading books. Unfortunately, they also made it harder for people to disconnect from work or to just disconnect in general. Some of the most common forms of distracted driving all involve smartphones. These are:

  • Taking pictures or recording videos
  • Texting or writing an email
  • Online shopping
  • Browsing social media

Even though you might be hard pressed to find someone who does not know the dangers of distracted driving, a lot of people just cannot seem to stop. In the same Travelers Companies survey, 13% say they find it really difficult to just stop reading their texts and emails while driving. Another 5% said it is very difficult to stop online shopping even when they are supposed to be focused on driving.

Too much pressure

Texas drivers already face a lot of pressure behind the wheel. However, a careful and attentive driver can more easily navigate things like changing speed limits, other drivers and potential problems on the road. When drivers are also fending off the pressure from work emails, calls from their bosses or a notification for online shopping, many seem to cave.

Distracted driving may have seemed like an abstract concept until your accident, and now you are dealing with the very real consequences of another driver’s behavior. You should not have to address your medical bills, lost wages, or pain and suffering all on your own though. When you choose to work with an experienced attorney to file a personal injury claim, you may be making one of the best choices to prioritize your own well-being and recovery.

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