Seyfarth Synopsis: OSHA reminds employers of the hazards of distracted driving.
OSHA has recently released a “Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes.” OSHA states that “every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash, every 10 seconds an injury occurs and every 5 seconds a crash occurs. Many of these incidents occur during the workday or during the commute to and from work. Employers bear the cost for injuries that occur both on and off the job. Whether you manage a fleet of vehicles, oversee a mobile sales force or simply employ commuters, by implementing a driver safety program in the workplace you can greatly reduce the risks faced by your employees and their families while protecting your company’s bottom line.”
OSHA also publishes a Distracted Driving Initiative poster, in which it targets texting as a major cause of workplace injuries. Previously, in an open letter to employers, then OSHA Administrator Dr. Michaels said, “it is your responsibility and legal obligation to have a clear, unequivocal and enforced policy against texting while driving….Companies are in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, or create incentives that encourage or condone it, or they structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their jobs. OSHA will investigate worker complaints, and employers who violate the law will be subject to citations and penalties.” According to OSHA, it has used its General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act, to issue citations and proposed penalties in these circumstances. OSHA considers “distracted driving” to be a “recognized hazard” in the industry under the General Duty Clause to employee safety.
Employers whose businesses require the use of cars, vans or trucks should consider developing written policies and documented training of employees on the safe operation of those vehicles, including a clear prohibition against texting on a hand held cell phone while driving. Failure to address this potential hazard can result in significant employer liability under OSHA and in tort litigation.
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Auto and Motorcycle Accidents
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Automobile and motorcycle accidents are the leading cause of personal injury and death in the U.S., with almost three million injuries and over 40,000 deaths each year. If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident because of the negligence of others, you may be entitled to payments for personal injury or wrongful death. We may be able to help you to recover payments for medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, physical pain and emotional suffering, disability, and future losses.
In Texas for 2012 there were roughly 63,000 serious injury crashes in the state, with 87,000 people sustaining serious injuries from these crashes. Dallas is large metroplex that sits in the center of several different highway systems. This influx of drivers and automobiles leads to the potential for numerous vehicle collisions. If you are injured in a car wreck, you will need the help of an experienced auto accident lawyer in Dallas like Giunta Law.
In 2012, Dallas alone had nearly 25,000 reported car accidents, out of which 128 were fatal, and 3,500 resulted in serious injuries. This is no small number but is only a fraction of the over 325,000 car accidents which were reported throughout the entire state. Throughout the whole of Texas, the most common crash contributing factor is speeding, accounting for 23,000 collisions in 2012. After a traumatic accident, it’s important to get help from a knowledgeable Dallas auto accident attorney like Frank Giunta.