Insurance Experts Lend Insight Into Dangers Of Distracted Driving
Our Accident Attorneys Report on How Insurance Experts Are Lending Insights Into The Dangers Of Distracted Driving
Traffic deaths rose nationwide by eight percent in 2016 from 2015. The eight percent represents an enormous increase and one that has not been seen in quite some time. Many people agree that three major factors contribute to such a rise in motor vehicle fatalities. Those are: drivers distracted by smartphones and other electronic gadgets, greater road congestion, and a younger population of drivers. Two insurance industry experts from Travelers Insurance gave their opinion about the frightening trends and what could be done to reverse them.
The insurance experts observed that motor vehicle accidents are costly. The replacement cost per part has increased by $300 over recent years. Additionally, medical costs to treat injuries suffered in car accidents rose seven percent from last year. Lastly, the financial cost of fatal crashes increased by twelve percent over the past year. Insurance companies have a vested interest in keeping these costs down on a per claims basis considering the economic costs of car accidents.
Businesses bear the brunt of these cost increases. In fact, businesses of all sizes in Georgia are liable for injuries and damages their employees cause when they are involved in accidents on the job. It does not matter whether the employee is driving his or her own car or driving the company vehicle when the accident occurs. An employer is liable for the negligence of their employees as long as the employee was acting in the scope of employment when the incident occurred. This legal theory is called respondeat superior.
Employers are liable for torts committed by their employees. In addition, employers may be liable on an independent legal basis for damages caused by their employees. This legal theory is called negligent entrustment. Furthermore, the company could be liable for negligent training and supervision, negligent hiring and retention as well as others. In sum, these legal theories of recovery allow injured victims an opportunity to collect damages from the employer because the employer was negligent when they hired the employee, failed to train the employee properly, or negligently retained the employee. In other words, employers owe the public a duty to hire responsible employees with safe driving histories and train all employees on how to drive safely while on-duty.
There is a good reason to have strong policies regarding employee transportation during work hours. According to industry authorities, transportation accidents are the most frequent cause of death at work. For example, roadwork fatalities rose by nine percent in 2015, and almost half of those deaths involved accidents with a large truck, be it a tractor-trailer or tanker truck. The average work-related accident claim costs in excess of $72,000.
While the industry experts see a benefit to moving the automotive industry toward autonomous features, the advantage of these features is not realized to this point. The reality is that most car and trucks on the road do not have autonomous safety features like automatic braking systems, blindspot warnings, and lane departure warnings, among others. The insurance industry experts opine that the driver cannot rely on autonomous safety features. Instead, they can be used to enhance the driver's awareness. Additionally, drivers can, unfortunately, disable some of the enhanced safety functions newer cars offer.
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If you have been involved in any type of accident caused by someone else's negligence, contact Montlick & Associates today for your free consultation. Montlick & Associates has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over 37 years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Our car accident lawyers have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over 37 years.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
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