California residents who use their own vehicles for work purposes may find themselves being distracted by texts and phone calls while behind the wheel. As the mobile workforce is increasingly becoming connected, this is not surprising. Nevertheless, it is still a dangerous trend. Motus, the vehicle management workforce company, has some interesting things to say about these hazards in its 2018 Distracted Driving Report.

Motus found that the percentage of mobile workers who own smartphones rose from 55 to 77 between 2013 and 2017. In that same period, the number of car accidents that mobile workers were in increased from 5.7 million to 6.4 million. The report also mentions a substantial spike in smartphone ownership and in accidents involving property damage, injuries or fatalities between 2014 and 2016.

Mobile workers also take about 49 percent more driving trips than other types of employees. At the same time, they drive a total of 1,200 miles every year while distracted. Americans in general drove 107 billion phone-distracted miles in 2017, so these issues do not affect just the mobile workforce.

Accidents among the mobile workforce are costing employers thousands, according to Motus. One crash costs employers about $4,400 due to property damage, legal expenses, medical bills and more. In 2017, mobile workers missed 1.65 million work days on account of accidents. This adds to overall costs due to lost productivity.

If businesses fail to properly train their mobile fleets, they may be held liable for any car crashes that their drivers cause. If a driver is using their phone at the time of a crash, their guilt can be established by checking the phone records. This is where a victim may want a lawyer to assist them with a claim. Third parties could gather the necessary records before the lawyer goes on to negotiations.