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Employers and Distracted Driving

Author: Dan McElroy

By now, it is widely known that effective September 1, 2017 Texas adopted a statewide law prohibiting texting while driving, which is codified in Section 545.4251 of the Texas Transportation Code. Generally, this law prohibits the use of a wireless communication devise to read, write, or send a text message while driving unless the vehicle is stopped.  Additionally, over 95 cities in Texas have adopted distracted driving or cell phone ordinances that may be broader than the state law. 

What Texas employers may not have considered is that distracted driving laws can impact their liability should an employee get into an accident while violating such a law.  To mitigate, or reduce this exposure, employers should adopt rules prohibiting all employees from texting while driving any vehicle during work-hours or for work-related activities.  These rules should be included in employee handbooks and/or stated in conspicuous signage at the workplace.  For more information on this issue, or any other employment related issues, please contact Dan McElroy at 214-520-3300 or dmcelroy@settlepou.com