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Smartphone-distracted workers may pose accident risk

Distracted driving presents a major threat to life and safety on New Mexico roads. When people pay attention to their phones rather than the road, the consequences can be severe, not only for themselves, but also for other people driving or walking nearby. While many people associate distracted driving with teens texting, the complicated reality is that people of all ages and levels of driving experience can be distracted and may pose a threat to others. One study by Motus looked at how the connected mobile workforce can contribute to distracted driving dangers. An increasing number of mobile workers are connected to their jobs through smartphones, and this has been accompanied by growth in motor vehicle accidents as well.

In 2013, 55 percent of mobile workers owned a smartphone. Four years later, in 2017, 77 percent had one. During that same period, car accident numbers grew 12.3 percent from 5.7 million to 6.4 million. Distraction has always been a concern for workers who spend many hours behind the wheel. However, these connected mobile workers, with strong expectations of a swift response to emails and other online workplace communications, also drive far more than other Americans.

Mobile workers take 49 percent more trips than any other type of employee in the country. Many of these take place in the early afternoon, the most common time of day for smartphone-related distracted driving. As a result, the study estimates that each mobile worker drives around 1,200 miles annually while distracted by a smartphone.

The consequences for others can be devastating, including severe injuries, lifelong disabilities and even fatalities. People who have been injured by someone else's distracted driving can work with a personal injury lawyer. An attorney can help them fight for compensation for their losses, including pain and suffering, medical bills and lost wages.

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