It is not news that in our modern world we find ourselves increasingly dependent on our cell phones and BlackBerrys for communication on the go. While Chicago has banned cell phone use while driving for several years, new technologies have created a growing issue of the prevalence of text messaging, which can be even more distracting to a driver than talking on the phone. Two weeks ago, Washington banned text messaging while driving, and Chicago may be soon to follow. Talking on a cell phone or using one to send text messages can triple the risk of getting into a car accident.
The issue becomes particularly interesting as more and more companies issue BlackBerrys to their employees in order to conduct business and stay in contact through emails while out of the office. If an employee is sending a business email, employers could be held liable, as the employee is acting within the scope of his employment.For this reason, employers need to properly train employees about BlackBerry use in order to protect themselves from this foreseeable action. They should not only require that employeesnot use their phones for business purposes while driving, but also refrain from certain requirements or incentives for employees to work while on the road.