Government continues focus on distracted driving as cause of North Carolina work accidents

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched “Faces of Distracted Driving,” a program aimed at reducing distracted driving accidents and work accidents in North Carolina and nationwide.

The series includes the death of Margay Schee, 13, who was killed when a semi truck slammed into the back of her school bus in September 2008. Both of the other victims featured in the initial series were also teenagers.
But the government is equally concerned about the dangers that distracted driving poses to employees who drive as part of their job. As our North Carolina workers’ compensation lawyers reported earlier this fall, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has launched a program to reduce text messaging and other distractions for working drivers.

“Year after year, the leading cause of worker fatalities is motor vehicle crashes,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Dr. David Michaels. “There’s no question that new communications technologies are helping businesses work smarter and faster. But getting work done faster does not justify the dramatically increased risk of injury and death that comes with texting while driving.”

The government’s workplace safety watchdogs are frankly warning employers about their responsibilities.

“OSHA’s message to all companies whose employees drive on the job is straightforward: It is your responsibility and legal obligation to have a clear, unequivocal and enforced policy against texting while driving,” said Michaels. “Companies are in violation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act if, by policy or practice, they require texting while driving, or create incentives that encourage or condone it, or they structure work so that texting is a practical necessity for workers to carry out their jobs. OSHA will investigate worker complaints, and employers who violate the law will be subject to citations and penalties.”

If you are dealing with a work accident in North Carolina or are dealing with a worker’s compensation or disability claim, contact the Law Offices of Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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