Todd Clement Featured in National Safety Council’s Employer Liability Research Paper
April is the National Safety Council’s Distracted Driving Month and in connection with its public education program, the NSC has released a new paper titled Employer Liability and the Case for Comprehensive Cell Phone Policies. This paper is designed to encourage and support a brand new free cell phone policy kit.
The paper begins with the tragic story of Mindy Ragsdale and Peggye Woodson who were killed on January 25, 2010 when a commercial driver rear-ended them on the open highway with his cruise control still engaged. In the immediate aftermath of the wreck, the driver told an EMT that he was texting prior to the wreck. After citing to numerous research studies proving the increased crash risk caused by cell phone use and driver, the paper addresses the problem this risk poses to employers. Todd Clement is quoted with regard to the significant impact cell phone use can have on jury verdicts. The paper goes on to advocate a total ban noting that studies have shown that such decisive action has no detrimental effect on worker’s productivity. The Epilogue of the paper provides the end of the Ragsdale/Woodson story noting that the employer did not implement many of the recommended best practices advocated in the paper, settled for a confidential sum two weeks prior to trial, and notes that the case has attracted wide-spread national media attention publicizing the danger.
Mindy and Peggye’s story should be a lesson to all employers that a concrete enforced cell phone ban is the only way to protect the public and themselves.