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Drivers urged to pay attention to the road

Drivers urged to pay attention to the road



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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah drivers are being urged to put the cell phones down and pay extra attention to the road.

This week is AAA's "Heads Up Driving Week."

A spokeswoman says just a moment of distraction is all the time needed to cause a crash. AAA hopes people can go distraction-free for the week and then make it a habit.


80% of surveyed drivers say distracted driving is a serious threat to their safety, yet two-thirds report talking on the cell phone while driving. -AAA

AAA says one of the best things drivers can do is turn off the phone so they aren't tempted to talk or text while on the road.

Companies cracking down employees who multitask behind the wheel

Slap a few multi-million dollar lawsuits on some businesses and other companies are taking notice. Stoel Rives employment attorney Matt Durham said a business could be held liable for distracted driving of an employee doing company work in the car.

"I think you're starting to see companies develop policies that strongly discourage cell phone use and outright prohibit texting--sending or receiving messages--while driving."

Durham said it was not just texting while driving either. More employees felt the need to turn their car into a cubicle--shuffling through papers, making calls and even typing while behind the wheel.

He said, "A lot of employees feel a lot of pressure to get a lot of things done, so that's why companies should make it clear that employees shouldn't be putting themselves or other people at risk by doing these things while driving."

He said companies should have a clear policy and training, maybe even showing employees they will be fired and held liable for their multi-tasking while driving.

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Story compiled with contributions from Mary Richards and The Associated Press.

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