The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

How You Can Minimize Distracted Driver Liability Exposure

Implementing and enforcing clear policies, as well as using common sense, are some ways to minimize driver distraction.

September 2010, by Thomas Bray

The main principle of tort law and liability is that one party has the right to prove the other party had a duty to act and breached that duty (by action or inaction). Generally, the duty to act and the breach are based on the actions of a "reasonable person" or a regulatory or legitimate standard.

With distracted driving of company vehicles, it is not a long reach to say a company has a duty to act (i.e., to protect the public). Looking at many of the state laws passed in relation to distracted driving, it becomes clear the public could easily believe companies have a "duty to act."

Minimizing fleet exposure to an incident involving distracted driving by a company driver depends on fleet policies, the company's willingness to follow the policies, and policy enforcement. Being proactive with policies shows management takes the duty to act seriously. This approach also minimizes the chance company vehicles will be involved in a crash due to driver distraction.

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