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Business sees distracted driving awareness link to car accidents

By now, most Americans are aware of the threat to public safety posed by drinking and driving. Ironically, few of us consider that talking on the phone while driving is also a very dangerous undertaking. Consider this: the number one cause of all job-related deaths are motor vehicle crashes, according to the National Safety Council.

More importantly, merely talking on the phone while driving a car increases the chance of a car accident by four times, even if you're using a hands-free device. Forget about texting and driving. Information gleaned from the NSC website indicates texting while driving spikes the percentage of crashing up 23 times beyond normal conditions.

A few Illinois businesses have now seen the light and have realized that distracted driving is a losing proposition for their bottom lines. Besides the human impact distracted driving takes though death and injury, there are also other things to consider like damaged company vehicles, potential lawsuits against the company and a general loss in corporate productivity.

One man who owns a plumbing, heating and HVAC supply store in Farmingdale, Illinois, has incorporated an awareness campaign about distracted driving into his business. He and his 80 employees all signed a pledge to stop texting while driving for an entire month and then posted their progress. He also printed up t-shirts bearing the message for the employees and had a speaker from a distracted driving advocacy group speak to the company.

Awareness regarding the dangers of distracted driving is beginning to grow in Illinois, but there are still people willing to place their own safety, as well as others' safety, in danger to check their latest text message. Motorists have a right to use the roadways in Illinois without being struck by a distracted driver. If a person is injured as a result of a distracted driver he or she may be eligible to recover compensation through litigation for the injuries suffered.

Source: newsday, "Small Business: Distracted driving risks safety, liability" Jaime Herzlich, Jun. 01, 2014

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