According to an article by Sternberg Law Office, workers’ compensation claims as a whole have decreased significantly between the years of 2011 and 2016. However, a disturbing trend has highlighted an increase in workers’ compensation claims, approximately 5%, for fields that rely mainly on drivers. What is to blame?
Insurance experts believes that the trend stems from increased smartphone usage. Therefore, taxi drivers, truck drivers, sales professionals, etc. have been affected. Sternberg Law Office writes, “Drivers have a tendency to underestimate the risk of answering a text, checking a social media post, or changing the music on their phone. The correlation between smartphone use and car crashes is staggering. In fact, In 2010, just 27% of cell phones in use were smartphones. This percentage hit 81% by the end of 2016, mirroring the current rise in vehicle accidents.”
The evident impact on employees and workers’ compensation carriers remains clear; motor vehicle accidents are more likely to result in death (12% more according to Sternberg Law Office), the potential for other parties to be involved in a motor vehicle accident is higher, and medical expenses in conjunction with property damage can be costly.
Regardless of the campaigns against distracted driving, legislation, etc., this disturbing trend does not appear to be slowing down.