April 19, 2023

The Role of Cell Phones in Car Accidents

cell phone distracted driver

Every day, nine Americans lose their lives in car crashes suspected to have been caused by a distracted driver. Distracted driving occurs when a driver's attention is diverted from the road. The risk of car accidents rises when a driver is distracted. A distraction might be anything that causes you to take your mind off the road. Distracted driving involves texting, chatting on a cell phone, using a navigation system on your phone or any touchscreen interface, and eating. These things can put you and your passengers and other drivers at risk.

We can categorize distractions on the road into three:

·   Visual distractions or diverting attention away from the road

·   Manual distractions or taking the hands off the steering

·   Cognitive distractions or mentally diverting oneself from the task of driving

Thousands of Americans suffer because of distracted driving every year. In 2019, accidents involving a distracted motorist resulted in over 424,000 injuries and 3,100 fatalities. Around 20% of traffic fatalities were pedestrians or cyclists who were not in a car at the time of the accident.

Distracted driving is more common among specific demographics. As a result, distracted driving legislation has been passed in many jurisdictions to help safeguard the public from further injury and fatalities.

Such examples include restricting the number of minors who can ride as passengers with teenage drivers and making it illegal for drivers to use handheld electronic devices while behind the wheel. In addition, high-visibility enforcement (HVE) measures for distracted driving laws can be beneficial in cutting down cell phone use while driving. However, the efficacy of cell phone and texting regulations requires further study.

Many folks, unfortunately, still ignore public service announcements and basic sense and use our phones while behind the wheel. We have become so reliant on our phones that we don't think twice about taking them up in dangerous situations, such as behind the wheel.

Cell phones are linked to incidents resulting in significant injuries and even fatalities for innocent bystanders.

The statistics on the dangers of texting and driving are shocking. It is estimated that over half a million motorists attempt to use their phones while driving at any given moment.

Thanks to smartphones, maintaining constant contact is a breeze. But, if a person decides to check any electronic communication on other mobile applications while driving, that can eventually result in risk and danger to both the driver and the people around them.

How Do Cell Phones Cause Crashes?

In many states, it is already against the law to use a handheld mobile phone or similar device for any purpose while driving. Like eating, drinking, tinkering with the music, or adjusting the GPS, using a telephone while driving is cognitively distracting. Among the ways it can increase the risk of an accident are:

1. The driver has only one hand on the wheel, reducing his ability to respond quickly in an emergency.

2. The driver's attention is diverted from the road while dialing, searching for, or messaging on the phone.

3. An individual's visual processing capacity and peripheral awareness are reduced while texting or talking on a cell phone.

4. When a split-second decision needs to be made to avoid an accident, a driver whose attention is diverted by a phone call or text message is putting themselves and others in danger.

5. When a driver's attention is diverted from the road to focus on his phone, he is more likely to cause accidents by weaving, swerving out of his lane, or colliding with a guardrail or sign.

The Consequences of Using Cell Phones While Driving

How significant is the role of cell phones in causing accidents in the USA?

- More than 1.6 million car accidents occur yearly because drivers are texting or talking on the phone, compared to drunk driving, texting while behind the wheel is six times as risky.

Although using a cell phone of any kind can indeed be a distraction, studies have proved again and time again that texting while driving is particularly dangerous.

- Every time you send a text, you remove your eyes off the road for around five seconds. It may not seem like much, but at 55 mph, your eyes will have been off the road for the length of a football field.

- Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone, even the youngest and least experienced drivers like teenagers. Although 94% of teens agree that texting and driving is dangerous, 35% say they do it regardless. It is common knowledge that texting and driving is extremely risky, yet many people still check their phones until they get behind the wheel.

When you combine the cognitive demands of driving with those of using a cell phone, your reaction time suffers. Because of this, you will be less responsive to things like brake lights and lane changes if you use mobile tech while driving.

Talk to a personal injury attorney ASAP if you or another person has been hurt in an accident caused by someone using a cell phone while driving.

The burden of proof rests on the plaintiff in an automobile accident lawsuit to establish that the defendant's negligent actions were the direct cause of the plaintiff's damages.

Recent cases prove that a driver's mobile phone use during a collision (or before) can make the driver negligent or legally at fault. Additionally, a company could be liable if an employee causes an auto accident while on the clock and doing work-related things like talking on the phone or texting. As a result, many companies are banning employees from using any phone or device (including company-issued ones) while behind the wheel.

If you have been injured in a car accident, get a free consultation by calling us at 877-721-9494 or visit one of offices in Greenville SC, Charleston SC, or Rock Hill SC.