Cell Phones Usage Are Increasingly The Causes For Car Accidents
Cell phones are everywhere, and many drivers always have one with them. In an emergency, a cell phone could be a real asset, allowing a driver to call for a tow truck when a car breaks down, for example. However, cell phone use has become a leading accident cause.
Cell phones have a host of functions. Besides simply making and receiving phone calls, cell phone users can send and receive texts and take photos. So-called smart phones can also be used to surf the Internet, view movies, play music and obtain driving directions.
With so much available at one’s fingertips, it’s no wonder that people rely on their cell phones. It’s estimated that Americans send 17.3 billion text messages every month. At any given moment, researchers estimate, 660,000 drivers in the United States are using a cell phone or other handheld electronic device.
Drivers preoccupied with cell phones can cause accidents. Using a cell phone triples the risk of an accident. People hurt in cell phone accidents ought to find capable help as soon as possible.
Texting Is Especially Dangerous
In order to write a text, a person must engage several kinds of activity. The driver uses visual perception, linguistic ability and coordinated physical activity. Because so much of a driver’s cognitive capacity is taken up while texting, it is impossible to devote enough attention to the task of driving.
In an especially striking illustration of the hazards of texting, consider that it takes about 4.6 seconds to send or receive a text message. When a vehicle is traveling at highway speed, 55 miles per hour, it can move the length of a football field in that time. A driver who is busy with a text is thus essentially blind to the road while covering all that distance.
Teens At Extra Risk For A Cell Phone Accident
Even when cell phones are not involved, teens have more accidents due to their lack of driving experience. They are also more inclined to use cell phones and text. Considering drivers by age group, teenagers have the highest percentage of distracted drivers who get into fatal crashes.
The NHTSA reports that over 20 percent of 15- to 19-year-old drivers in fatal accidents were distracted by cell phone use.
Cell Phone Laws
Many states that have enacted laws to control motorists’ use of cell phones, in an effort to prevent distracted driving accidents. State law forbids all drivers from using cell phones to text while driving.
Drivers under 18 years of age are not allowed to talk on cell phones while behind the wheel. Other drivers may talk on their cell phones only by way of a hands-free system.
A few exceptions are written into the law. A driver is permitted to use a cell phone if one of these circumstances applies:
Nobody else is in the vehicle who can summon emergency help, and it is necessary to call for help.
The driver is operating an emergency vehicle as a part of the driver’s employment; this could include driving a tow truck, utility vehicle or ambulance, for example.
The driver is using a vehicle during an agricultural or farming operation.
No other exceptions apply. A driver can be fined at least $110 for violating the cell phone ban.
A driver who negligently uses a cell phone and causes an accident can be found liable for damages.