Skip to Content
Streetsblog USA home
Streetsblog USA home
Log In
Streetsblog.net

Making Employers Liable For Their Distracted Drivers

Today one of our Streetsblog Network members picks up on some ideas in the latest New York Times article about distracted driving, which focused on workers who multitask in their cars using a variety of electronic devices. The Chicago Bicycle Advocate, which is written by a personal injury attorney, says that only the threat of liability for employers may be able to influence this frightening trend:

3647897679_e061120127.jpgPhoto by poka0059 via Flickr.

The pressure that many employees, both white collar and
blue, feel to respond to work emails, phone calls and text messages
while on the road may be far more compelling than the remote risk of
being ticketed for doing so. One way to compel employers to institute
cell phone bans is to put them on notice that a failure to institute
such a policy could hit them hard where it hurts, in the purse. We have
reached a point where the dangers of driving while using a cell phone
are so thoroughly documented and well understood that use of a cell
phone while driving should support a cause of action for willful and
wanton misconduct. An employee who causes an accident due to
inattention from cell phone use that results in serious injury or death
should result in the employer being held liable to pay very substantial punitive damages to the victim or the victim's family. In my opinion, existing Illinois law supports this proposition.…

More from the network: The WashCycle celebrates the opening of the new Bike Station at Washington's Union Station by asking where the next one should go. New Haven Safe Streets Coalition has a post about the importance of free broadband access for all citizens -- and how that relates to safe streets. And on the Dallas Transportation Blog, readers are talking about the possibility of French involvement in Texas high speed rail.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog USA

Tuesday’s Headlines Are Running Hard

More political news: Today's top stories delve into Kamala Harris' record on climate change and Republicans' plans for the Trump administration if he returns to power.

July 23, 2024

Disabled NYer’s are Victims of Gov. Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause

So many New Yorkers can’t use the closest subway station to their homes because they don't have an elevator. And Gov. Hochul just halted funding for 23 new lifts.

July 23, 2024

State DOTs Could Fuel a Resurgence in Intercity Bus Travel

Private equity firms are killing off intercity bus companies. Will public agencies fill in the gaps?

July 23, 2024

GOP’s ‘Project 2025’ is ‘Based on a Lot of Ignorance’

What does Transportation for America's Beth Osborne think of the transportation portion of the Heritage Foundation's playbook for a Trump presidency?

July 23, 2024

What a Surprise! Hochul’s Congestion Pricing Pause Helps Rich Suburban Drivers

Gov. Hochul's "little guys" certainly have big wallets. Meanwhile, the rest of us suffer with declining subway service and buses that are slower than walking. Thanks, Kathy.

July 22, 2024
See all posts