| Added On October 1, 2010
With the frequent and exciting releases of newer, faster, and smarter cell phones, American consumers are becoming obsessed with keeping up with the latest electronic “toys.” As we continue to become literally attached to our smartphones, many get caught up in getting their hands on the latest devices and forgetting the importance on keeping their hands on other important things- especially the steering wheel.
A Growing National Concern
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the majority of automobile accidents occur due to driver distraction. It may be equally un-shocking, then, that the number of distractions from cell phones has continued to increase as a substantial percentage in automobile accidents and injuries year after year.
The U.S. Department of Transportation held their second annual summit on distracted driving in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday to address the growing national concern in regards to this epidemic. Much of the discussion was directed towards the government’s stance on mobile phone use while driving, encouraging the enactment of new laws that render phone use on the road to be a serious and primary offense.
Closer to home here in California, state laws have already been in effect to keep drivers focused on the road and their hands on the wheel. This is hardly a reason to put your phone fears on hold, however, and may actually be cause to take even more precaution than before.
The problem arising is that newer models of mobile phones are being packed with more bells, whistles, texting, e-mail, video, and internet capabilities than before. A simple hands-free phone conversation can still be dangerous through cognitive distraction, but the new vices of reading news, playing games, or even watching video clips while driving increases mobile phone use to a triple threat: drivers are being distracted cognitively, manually, and visually. Think twice before sending that text, it’s the most common “triple threat” mistake you can make.
New anti-texting laws have therefore encouraged some drivers to hold their phones lower while indulging in dangerous behavior, further diverting their attention from the road and increasing the danger that they are putting themselves and others in.
Call on us
The good news is that if you do have the misfortune of getting into an accident with a driver who is distracted by their cell phone, you now have a legitimate, legally backed claim of driver negligence where there used to be a gray area.
If you are in automobile accident where personal injuries and/or property damages are sustained, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help alleviate the stress and frustration of an accident by helping you seek damages.