Florida Car Accident Attorney Encourages Employers to Adopt Distracted Driving Policies

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Attorney Philip DeBerard, III, of Stuart says private firms and local governments should act against texting while driving in wake of legislative failures to adopt appropriate laws.

Car accident attorney in Stuart, Florida

Florida car accident attorney Philip DeBerard, III

Employers should be concerned, not only because of the potential for injury or death caused by texting while driving, but because they face potential employer liability if an employee causes a car accident while engaged in distracted driving on the job.

Florida car accident lawyer Philip DeBerard, III, today encouraged employers across the state to follow the lead of other companies that have adopted policies that prohibit employees from texting while driving.

“Adopting work rules to stop employees from texting while driving is a smart and caring thing for employers to do in the wake of the state’s failure to adopt laws that prohibit such dangerous behavior,” said DeBerard of the Florida personal injury firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney.

“Employers should be concerned, not only because of the potential for injury or death caused by texting while driving, but because they face potential employer liability if an employee causes a car accident while engaged in distracted driving on the job,” the Florida personal injury attorney said.

The Orlando Sentinel reported last week that growing numbers of local employers are telling workers to stop texting while driving even though the Florida Legislature has failed to outlaw the practice.

The September 4 report cited distracted driving policies adopted by companies such as Walt Disney World, local school systems and county government agencies.

The Florida Legislature has repeatedly failed to adopt bills addressing texting or cell phone use while driving. A 2012 Senate bill that died in committee would have prohibited text messaging while driving in Florida but allow use of wireless communications devices while stopped at a red light.

In 2010, 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sending or reading a text message while driving a car creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted, the NHTSA says.

In Florida, the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says 25,156 crashes were caused by distracted driving in 2011, and 180 of those wrecks could be attributed to texting while driving, the Sentinel report said.

The Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney law firm pursues personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of individuals throughout South Florida and the Treasure Coast who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle wrecks.

The firm also works to raise distracted-driving awareness. It maintains an active “Hang Up and Drive” Facebook page dedicated to informing the public of the dangers of driving while texting or talking on a cell phone as well as the legal rights and options available to victims of distracted drivers.

DeBerard said companies should contact an attorney to help craft or review their distracted driving policy.

“It is beyond argument that distracted driving is dangerous,” DeBerard said. “Texting while driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving, and everyone should do whatever they can to put a stop to this terrible threat to public safety.”

About Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney

The law firm of Philip DeBerard, Injury Attorney, has provided professional and compassionate legal assistance to personal injury and accident victims in South Florida on the Treasure Coast since 1975. The firm’s practice areas include car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, dog bite injuries, slip and fall injuries, swimming pool accidents and wrongful death claims. The firm represents clients throughout the South Florida communities of Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and Vero Beach and across the state of Florida.

The firm’s office is located at 215 SW Federal Highway, #300, Stuart, FL 34994 (local phone (772) 286-1000). For more information, call (800) 299-8878 or use the firm’s online contact form.

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