The growing mobile workforce in Tulsa and across the country could be a significant contributor to the threat posed by distracted driving. When people consider distracted motorists, they often think of teens texting while driving. However, smartphones can be just as big a problem among connected mobile workers. According to a report by the vehicle management platform Motus, smartphone ownership among mobile workers is highly correlated with a growing accident rate. While 55 percent of these workers owned smartphones in 2015, 77 percent had such devices in 2017. During the same period, car accident figures also increased 12.3 percent, from 5.7 million to 6.4 million.

The Motus study noted that mobile workers on average take 49 percent more trips than other types of American workers. In addition, mobile phone use is most common from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. when mobile workers are out on the job. According to the study’s calculations, a typical mobile worker drives around 1,200 miles while distracted each year. This dramatically raises the risk of car accidents.

Drivers have always been distracted by GPS devices, eating behind the wheel or fiddling with the radio. However, the level of concentration and attention required to read email, text or surf the web means that smartphone-related distracted driving can be even worse.

When someone is hit by a distracted driver, they may face long-term health consequences and permanent disabilities. A victim who has been injured due to another’s negligent or dangerous driving can work with a personal injury lawyer to seek compensation for damages such as lost wages and medical bills.