Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Zurich Recommends Employers develop policies to prevent Distracted Driving

States have been banning it. Now, insurance companies are recommending against it. Distracted driving causes accidents. I'm as guilty as the next person. The little, red light flashes on my BlackBerry, and I MUST KNOW who has contacted me. What is it, little red light? Talk to me, little red light.

The Washington, DC area is known for its horrible and dangerous traffic. We can't see the road, if our eyes are glued to the little, red light.

Today,
Zurich Insurance Company stated that employers could be held "vicariously liable" if they allow employees to text/email/chatter while driving. Zurich recommends that companies develop their own "Electronic Usage Policies" that should:

* Restrict use of all types of technologies (cell phone, Blackberry, laptop, MP3 player).

* Prohibit use of non-work related technology gadgets in non-office work areas to help minimize distractions and other safety-related hazards.

* Enforce rules consistently and fairly with all employees.
In the world of liability, companies without formal policies prohibiting or regulating certain activities can be accused of permitting those activities. For example, "your driver hit my client's car because he was texting while driving your company truck. You didn't regulate his driving habits, so you have to pay for my damages."

Keep an eye on this issue, because it will continue to grow.

Here's a link to the full
article about Zurich's recommendations.

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