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Loss Control

Addressing Distracted Driving

November 2010 – We have all heard of tragic accidents that have occurred because a driver was distracted by using a cell phone or other communication device while driving. These instances have resulted in civil and criminal liability for the driver and, if the driver was an employee acting in the course of employment, liability for the employer. OSHA has now entered into this liability area and has issued guidance indicating that it will issue citations to employers who require, encourage or condone employees texting while driving. This article illustrates the scope of this new liability and provides recommendations as to how to address this hazard.