‘Respondeat Superior’ is the legal concept that explains why an employer is liable for an employee’s cell phone use if the employee spends time driving as part of their job. Knowing about and understanding this concept is crucial for fleet managers to protect their company, employees and bottom line from potential liability costs. This short video, Employee Distracted Driving: Understanding your Corporate Risk and Liability, courtesy of ZoomSafer, features trial lawyer Todd Clement explaining respondeat superior in an easy-to-understand manner. To better understand the risk facing your company, watch the video now. To learn more about ways to manage distracted driving in your fleet, read this whitepaper.
This article from ZoomSafer discusses a recent court decision involving Coca-Cola. A jury in Texas handed down a $21 million verdict against Coca-Cola for damages arising from a vehicle crash in August 2010 where the Coca-Cola employee was using a mobile phone while driving. While this isn’t the first multi-million dollar lawsuit, it does bring attention to the serious issue of vicarious liability, and highlights a few important lessons fleet managers can learn from this case.
When it happens to you, the plaintiffs will sue.
The lesson to be learned here is that if, and when, one of your employees is involved in an at-fault accident due to distracted driving your company will most certainly be sued by the victim.
A written cell phone use policy is not enough.
Your company might have a written policy in place, but this case demonstrates that employees might not abide by your policy, making the policy insufficient to protect you from risk and liability.
Policy enforcement is critical.
What is your company doing to enforce your cell phone use policy, and is it enough? If you don’t have a plan in place to measure and manage policy compliance among your employees, you can expect to be held liable for damages that occur while employees drive distracted.
It certainly gives companies something to think about. Distracted driving is a serious issue, and so are the consequences. You can read the full article here.
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Safety is a top priority and a main concern for managers of any fleet-based business. Join us for this free, informative webinar to learn solutions for common safety challenges faced by fleet managers that will lead to better business practices and more effective fleet management. Our expert host will discuss solutions to key safety issues such as:
Unsafe driver behavior
Hours of Service compliance
You will also learn about the strategies similar companies have used to improve the safety and efficiency of their fleets.
Title: Strategies for Managing a Safer, More Effective Fleet Date: May 24, 2012 Time: 11:30am – 12:30pm MST
A blog for those of us who live and work in fleet management. Topics include engine diagnostics, driver safety, mobile workforce management, CAD/AVL, vehicle maintenance, truck distribution, global computing, work order management, and field services.
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