Distractions are one of the leading causes for accidents and injuries in the workplace, many of which involve mobile devices. When people start paying attention to a text message or game, they stop paying attention to the task at hand, which can result in a workplace accident caused by a cell phone. Unfortunately, this is true for any type of work place from white collar to construction and beyond.
Cell phone accidents at work are becoming a serious issue. Certain workplaces have banned the use of cell phones due to the increased rate of death by distraction; for example, railroad employees are forbidden from using cell phones while working. Oil rigs prevent workplace accidents caused by cell phones by forbidding workers from carrying them during a shift. Preventing cell phone accidents at work is an employer's responsibility. If their policies lead to serious injuries, workers deserve to have their medical costs covered by the people at fault.
A few examples of mobile device distractions that can have serious consequences include:
According to a study by Ohio State University, injuries for distracted pedestrians are soaring. Over 1,500 pedestrians were sent to the emergency room in 2010 because they were distracted by a mobile device. This number is about six times what it was in 2005, when the number of injured distracted pedestrians was 256. The study also found that people aged 16 to 25 were most likely to be injured as distracted pedestrians, and most of them were hurt while talking rather than texting or playing a game. Researchers behind the study believe the real number of injuries in distracted pedestrians is much higher and may even be at 2 million.
Distracted Truck Driver
Long hours, little sleep, and a vehicle weighing up to 80,000 pounds can often spell disaster if the driver is distracted by fatigue or unable to focus operating a large vehicle with safety in mind. However, a new danger is emerging in distracted truck drivers: the cell phone, smart phone, or other mobile device.
In January 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association (FMCSA) issued a ruling that banned interstate truckers and intrastate hazmat drivers from using mobile devices while driving due to safety concerns. Unfortunately, not all drivers adhere to the ban which also forbids dialing, holding, or even reaching for a cellphone unless they have fully pulled off the road. The ban allows for both the trucker and their employers to be fined for violating the ban.
Another horrifying result of the digital age is now the distracted doctor. A mobile device may be able to hold a ton of useful medical apps, but not all doctors are using their phones for this purpose. Doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other medical personnel can be focused on the device and not the patient, even during critical moments. Some examples of this include a nurse checking airfares during surgery, a neurosurgeon on a personal call during an operation, and half of technicians have admitted to texting during a procedure, all of which can spell disaster for patients and their families.
When to Contact a Lawyer
Whether suffering an accident as the result of a distracted driver or serious injury at the hands of a distracted doctor, the sooner you act the better. Our firm knows exactly what to do to build your case and file a claim. We know what evidence to collect, which experts to hire, and we offer a no obligation consultation to all of our clients. Contact us today.