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Lawyers Try to Create "Vicarious Liability" When Employees Using Mobile Devices Get Into Accidents

A report in Tuesday's New York Times says that lawyers are attempting to construct new theories of negligence in order to sue companies whose employees are involved in motor vehicle accidents while using mobile communication devices. There will be no end to such legal inventiveness until our legal system is resturctured. But, the article is interesting in that it is yet another indication that lots of people are getting distracted while using their gadgets, and getting into accidents as a result.

We feel that safety precautions need to be followed while using mobile phones and other mobile devices while operating a vehicle. Since most peoples' primary mobile devices are still telephones used for voice calls, best practice indicates that people should use headsets. However, for email and internet access devices, this admonition is useless.

There are few excuses for looking at a website or texting while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. That type of device interaction is much more distracting than participating in voice calls.

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