Distracted driving is the leading cause of car accidents in the United States, and one of the main distractions drivers deal with on the road is their cell phone. Whether they are sending a text, answering a call, scrolling through social media, or watching a video, they are putting other drivers at risk by taking their focus off of the road.
Facts About Cell Phone Accidents
How big of a problem are cell phone accidents in the U.S.? Take a look at some of these facts to see the impact of these distracted drivers:
- Over 1.6 million accidents each year are caused by a driver who was using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
- Texting while driving is more dangerous than drunk driving—six times more dangerous, in fact.
- Although any cell phone use can be distracting, research has shown texting while driving is the most risky activity.
- Every time you send a text message, your eyes are taken off of the road for about five seconds. This doesn’t seem like much—but if you’re driving 55 mph, this means your eyes are off of the road for the length of a football field.
- Even teens, who are the most inexperienced drivers, know the dangers of distracted driving. Ninety-four percent of teens agreed that using a cell phone while driving is not safe, but despite this, 35% of them admitted they do it anyways.
It’s no secret that distracted driving is dangerous, yet many drivers fail to put down their cell phones before getting behind the wheel. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone using his cell phone while driving, speak to an attorney as soon as possible following the accident.
Myths About Cell Phone Accidents
There are a lot of misconceptions about using cell phones while driving. Here’s the truth behind these common myths:
Myth: As long as the phone is hands-free, it’s safe.
Hands-free cell phone use is still distracting. In fact, it’s estimated that drivers miss up to 50% of what’s going on around them while they are talking on the phone—hands-free or not.
Myth: If you’re a good multi-tasker, it’s ok to use a cell phone behind the wheel.
Anytime you ask your brain to switch back and forth between two tasks—in this case, driving and using a cell phone—you slow down its reaction time. Therefore, if you are using a cell phone while driving, you won’t be able to react to brake lights or lane changes as quickly as you would if you weren’t using your phone.
Myth: Using your phone is fine if you’re stopped at a light or in traffic.
If you’re behind the wheel, it’s never a good time to use your phone. Drivers should be fully focused on their surroundings at all times, even when stopped at a red light or stuck in bumper to bumper traffic.
Myth: Using voice-to-text is safe while driving.
Drivers often think using the voice-to-text feature on their phone is safer than physically typing in a text message, but that’s simply not the case. If you use this feature, you usually will end up looking down to reread the text prior to sending it to ensure everything is spelled correctly. Doing so is just as dangerous as typing out the text in the first place, so this behavior should be avoided while driving.
Help for Cell Phone Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a distracted driver, you have a right to compensation for your injuries, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Trial Lawyers for Justice is comprised of experienced personal injury attorneys who can help you and your family recover the compensation you deserve.