Cell Phones and Accidents

cellphonedriving

Did you know that we now have the technology to disable cell phones while you are driving? This can prevent a lot of texting-related accidents. Some states have laws in place that prohibit the use of any type of handheld device while you are operating a vehicle. This means that texting, talking on the phone and surfing the net are all banned. It can be difficult to prove definitively that the person driving a vehicle involved in an accident was using the phone. For this reason, injured people should contact an experienced auto accident lawyer if they think that something of this nature might have caused an accident.

Hands-Free Devices

In an effort to promote safer driving practices, there are some states that have implemented regulations and laws. Sometimes these safety measures don’t allow cell phone usage unless they are used with hands-free devices. They also mandate no texting while behind the wheel unless you want a ticket. While there is a benefit to these measures when it comes to decreasing the distractions for drivers and as a result, causing fewer accidents, some can argue that even these hands-free devices can be distractions and as such should be used only with caution.

The Multitasking Myth

Both cell phone conversations and driving require a great deal of thought… more so than you might think. When you are doing both of these things at the same time, your brain just is not able to do both of them equally well because it is distracted. As an example, it is almost impossible to read a book while you are simultaneously having a conversation on the phone. If you try to do this while you are driving, it can result in a car accident due to things like braking time being delayed and not seeing traffic signals…or seeing them but not registering them.

The Scope of the Issue?

As of this writing, there is not a reliable method that will accurately determine how many vehicular crashes involve the use of a cell phone. That means that it is impossible to know the full scope of the issue. There are quite a few challenges to verifying that a cell phone was one of the contributing factors in a crash. These can include:

  • Police officers rely on the drivers to admit to using a cell phone. This isn’t possible when the drivers don’t want to admit it or have been seriously injured or even killed.
  • Witness statements and memories might be inaccurate.
  • Police might not fully investigate the use of cell phones if it isn’t a violation in that area, or if a violation that is more obvious, such as lane departure or speeding, is involved.

Liability

When there is a vehicular accident, the person who has shown carelessness is the one responsible. This can be shown when someone uses their cell phone when they are driving. There is a theory that the accident could have been prevented if it wasn’t for the cell phone being used. Because of the cell phone being used, the driver might have been distracted while they were driving, using only one hand to steer and not keeping their eyes on the road.

Increased Liability

Many states have begun to ban using cell phones while behind the wheel. As a direct result of this, any driver who gets into a car accident while they are using a cell phone can be exposed to extra penalties and liabilities.

Insurance

Because of the increase in regulations that involve the usage of cell phones, insurance companies are using more of their resources to look into how their clients are using them while they drive. In some instances, insurance companies have increased premiums for those who have gotten tickets for using cell phones while driving. Additionally, just as with other types of at-fault accidents, ones caused by a driver using their cell phone will also increase monthly premiums.

Calling an Attorney

If you are fingered as being the responsible party in an accident and you believe this isn’t true, then you should contact an attorney. Conversely, if you have been in an accident where the other party was at fault, you should also contact an attorney. The attorney can help determine who is at fault and make sure that you get what is coming to you.

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