Posted on May 19, 2014
Cell phone texting has become a popular phenomenon for many all across the country. While the pastime creates a lot of fun for its users, the issue of driving and texting is fast becoming a point of contention among many state legislatures. The State of Idaho is no different. While inattentive driving is on the books, it has not been used as a means to prevent texting and driving.
Several Senate bills have been proposed in 2012 including ones that would outlaw handheld devices as well as texting while driving. Other attempts in recent years have all failed; however, Idaho's Senate recently sent a bill in February to the House for approval that would outlaw both texting and driving. Most legislators agree that this is the year some sort of ban will become effective. Even the National Transportation Safety Board has joined the call to ban cellphone and handheld device use why driving.
Idaho business owners should pay close attention to how this law will affect their businesses, especially for those with commercial auto insurance to protect their employees while driving for business use. Many accidents are caused by distracted drivers, and increasingly, some of those accidents are due to drivers trying to talk on the cell phone or even text message while operating a vehicle.
A company could be liable if one of their employees gets into an accident because of using a cell phone or other handheld device. Of course, commercial auto insurance coverage does pay for accidents even ones caused by behavior that isn't particular wise like texting and driving at the same time. However, if a business has excessive commercial auto insurance claims due to cellphone, texting or any other issue, then they could potentially face an increase in rates or even cancellation of the policy.
The most important action business owners can take to prevent these accidents from happening is to set expectations for employees that using cell phones and texting while driving is not favored by the company. Training employees on safe use of vehicles goes hand in hand with helping prevent any type of accident. In fact, to encourage employees not to use devices while driving, companies could install hands free systems in their company vehicles so as to limit the potential risk of accidents caused by distracting phones and other devices.