When cell phones first arrived on the consumer market, few likely realized how many car accidents would result from talking or texting while driving. States like Georgia eventually passed laws authorizing law enforcement to issue traffic citations for texting or holding a phone in their hand while driving. Unfortunately, many drivers continue to use their cell phones behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk for a collision.
Cell phones and driving
Safe driving involves maintaining attention on the road and being mindful of other commuters and pedestrians. Once the mind’s attention shifts to something else, reacting in time to avoid a crash becomes challenging. When using a cell phone, the distraction level could be significant since a person might be carrying on a conversation that takes their attention from the road.
Using a cell phone or another electronic device involves more than cognitive distractions. Using a cell phone involves taking your hands off the wheel. When texting, the hands are doing more than holding the phone as they perform a manual task. Also, the eyes are likely on the phone when texting, adding a visual distraction.
That’s not to suggest hands-free systems are entirely safe. Voice-operated systems may affect attention, and glancing at a touchscreen diverts the eyes. Be mindful that even a split-second distraction may result in a crash.
Distracted driving collisions
Persons who cause distracted driving accidents might face a civil lawsuit. Since using a cell phone while driving is a traffic violation, such behavior could support a plaintiff’s negligence claims. Drivers found liable for injuries may be legally required to compensate victims for their losses.
An insurance claim may settle the matter, but some accidents might lead to the victims suing above policy limits. That could be the case when the collision results in a wrongful death.