Can I be sued for texting?

Can I be sued if my employee has an accident when texting and driving?

That's a good insurance question. The answer is yes. An employer can be held vicariously liable if they permit their employees to use hand-held devices while driving. So if an employee was texting and driving there would be a clear case of distracted driving.

We are seeing most provinces in Canada banning hand=held devices while operating vehicles. There have been cases in the USA where juries awarded claimants for injury after it was determined that the employee was distracted whil driving.

What can an employer do to protect themselves?

Part of your Risk Management should be considering an electronics usage policy. This has to be implement uniformly to show that no exceptions have been allowed. So from the boss to the delivery driver, no cell phone usage while driving!

Some of the steps your safety department may consider could include:

  • Restrict the use of all types of technologies in your company's distracted-driving policy.
  • Prohibit the use of non-work related technology gadgets in the non-office work areas. This will help to minimize distractions and other safety-related hazards.
  • Enforce these rules consistently and fairly with all employees with documentation of the procedures.