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Texting and driving can be linked to work demands

People in Montana and across the nation are plugged in all day long. This reachability and access has its benefits and drawbacks. Being able to keep track and in contact with loved ones is a benefit as is the ability to call for help immediately. A negative, however, is the temptation to use technology at times when it is unsafe to do so. Texting and driving and other activities behind the wheel that lead to being a distracted driver are frequently cited causes of an auto accident. A new factor that is increasing this behavior is work pressure.

A survey by Travelers Insurance and Harris Poll spoke to more than 2,000 adults with more than half being workers who commuted to work by vehicle. The study found that work is a significant distracting influence when commuting. Because heavy workloads and access expands a person's workday beyond the workplace to everywhere they are, 75 percent of employees who drive are using their own vehicle for work. This is contributing to the increase in distracted driving. Around 38 percent make calls for work; 17 percent are sending or reading text messages; 10 percent are using email.

The reasoning behind this varies. 17 percent fear their employer; 27 percent state that they are contacted by their boss even if it is known that the employee is driving; 38 percent are under the impression that they must be ready to answer calls from work at any time; and 15 percent say they cannot forget about work even if they are not actually working. With work pressures being unencumbered by former boundaries, employees feel as if they must take part as a precondition of their job even if that is not openly stated. This is placing people in danger.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that there are nine deaths and more than 1,000 people injured daily because of distracted driving with many distractions being work-related. Even people who use hands-free devices are not completely safe. Among employees, more than half of those between age 18 and 44 admit to performing work tasks behind the wheel. People age 55 to 64 do it one-third of the time. Accidents that are due to a distracted driver can lead to medical expenses, lost wages and loss of life. Therefore, those who have been injured in a crash due to a distracted driver may want to look into the possibility of pursuing a claim after a car accident.

Source: cbsnews.com. "Texting while driving? Blame the boss," Ed Leefeldt, Nov. 22, 2017

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