Travelers: employer pressure among reasons for driver distraction

There are many reasons why drivers in South Carolina and across the U.S. get distracted while behind the wheel. The Travelers Companies has revealed some of these reasons in its 2019 Travelers Risk Index. The results were compiled after a survey of more than 2,000 consumers and individuals.

While smartphones have "do not disturb" settings, only 12 percent of respondents use it. Forty-one percent actively choose not to use the setting while 35 percent find it inconvenient and usually forget to use it. Among businesses, only 18 percent advise their employees to use the "do not disturb" setting. However, two-thirds of companies have employee education programs that address distracted driving. Nearly three-quarter of executives feel that distracted driving is not a major concern, and 12 percent are not worried about the liability associated with a crash caused by a distracted employee. Eighty-seven percent expect their employees to be always connected, even outside the office. To that end, 20 percent of employees said they respond to work-related messages on the road for fear of upsetting their bosses if they do otherwise.

Thirteen percent claimed that they would find it difficult to stop reading texts and emails behind the wheel while 11 percent admitted the same for sending them out. The survey found that 16 percent do not speak up when another driver is distracted.

Many auto crashes are caused by distracted drivers. Victims may be left with medical expenses, wages lost during recovery, pain and suffering and even a disability. However, a victim may seek compensation for damages by filing a personal injury claim. This is where a case evaluation with a lawyer might be a good idea. The lawyer may even negotiate for a settlement with the auto insurance company.