Effective July 1, 2015, any non-emergency uses of hand-held devices while behind the wheel in New Hampshire will be a violation of the law, per House Bill 1360. The bill bans the use of any hand-held mobile device while driving or temporarily stopped in traffic. New Hampshire joins 12 other states, including the District of Columbia, that prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones, and joins 43 states, including the District of Columbia, that prohibit “Distracted Driving” by banning texting while driving.
This new law should grab the attention of all employers who have employees doing business on the road. Employers can be held “vicariously liable” for distracted driving accidents if they involve an employee driving on company time if the employee is unlawfully using electronic devices for any business reasons while driving.
HR Knowledge recommends that employers take notice of the distracted driving laws in the states where they do business and ensure that their policies and actual practices strictly prohibit all unlawful uses of electronic devices while driving (or stopped in traffic) on company time. Even if your state does not have a distracted driving law we recommend that all company policies specify that the use of electronic devices for work purposes while driving, such as checking emails – even while driving outside normal business hours – is strictly prohibited, and companies should thoroughly communicate this information to all employees.
States that currently prohibit “Distracted Driving”:
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety designed a map of those states that currently prohibit “Distracted Driving.” To view this interactive map, please click here.