The Liability of Mobility – On the Road
Considering the costs for an inclusive mobile device strategy is more than hardware and software. There are also the costs for additional risk and exposure to liability. Are you aware that there is a Federal ban on driving with hand-held devices in a commercial vehicle?
Regulation requires that mobile devices can only be used when they can be operated with a hands-free, single touch. This almost eliminates the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) choice and complicates COPE (Corporate Owned, Personally Enabled) models in favor of Fleet-purchased, fixed-mounted devices.
A blue paper from PeopleNet (a mobile solution company) discloses:
The financial exposure to a serious commercial vehicle accident is at an all time [SIC] high. Even though the industry is experiencing the lowest fatality rate in 20 years, the cost associated with a fatal collision has doubled over the last five years to over $7.2 million per incident. This dramatic increase is due primarily to punitive damages when it is proven that the driver, carrier or both were negligent. This could include the choice of technology by the carrier and what the driver was doing with the device at the time of the accident.
And fines can be both personal and organizational, according to the source:
The violations being issued for this can cost a driver up to $2,750.00, and repeated offenses can result in the loss of their license. Carriers can also be found in violation by “requiring or allowing” their drivers to use a cell phone. This type of violation can cost a carrier up to $11,000.00 per occurrence.