The mobile workforce is becoming more connected. In 2013, 55 percent of mobile workers owned smartphones, but in 2017, that percentage rose to 77. At the same time, the number of car accidents among mobile workers went up from 5.7 million in 2013 to 6.4 million in 2017. Georgia residents who are part of a grey fleet or who maintain one should know what the dangers of this trend are.

Some worrying conclusions have been laid out in the 2018 Distracted Driving Report offered by Motus, a workforce management company. The report states clearly that there is a correlation between the two statistics given above. Smartphone use is distracting: In 2017, Americans drove a total of 107 billion miles while distracted by their phones.

The trend is especially worrying in the mobile workforce, which continues to grow. Mobile workers also drive about 49 percent more often than other types of employees. Motus estimates that every year, they travel 1,200 miles with their attention taken away from the road.

Every accident involving a mobile worker costs the employer about $4,400. Motus also points out the lost productivity that results from accidents, stating that mobile workers missed 1.65 million work days in 2017. Businesses can use Motus’ various tools for training their grey fleet drivers and assessing their skills.

Other businesses neglect to ensure that their employees are safe, reliable drivers. When these drivers cause car accidents through their own negligence, the business might have to pay out for the victim’s injuries and other losses. Victims, for their part, may want a lawyer to speak on their behalf at the negotiation table and litigate if a settlement cannot be reached. Even if they contributed to the accident, they might be able to receive damages as long as their amount of fault is less than the defendant’s.