Can you guess?
Cell phone use. Twenty-six percent of all car accidents in 2014 – or 1.3 million – were caused by drivers using their mobile devices while driving.
And that, according to the National Safety Council represents a one percent increase from 2013.
While driving, have you ever observed drivers to see how many of them are on their cell phones while they drive?
How can you tell? In one of two ways… either you can actually see the phone next to the driver’s head or you can see the driver looking down for extended periods of time (this guy is the MOST dangerous of the group – for obvious reasons).
Look when you next go out. The number of people you will see every single day driving while talking or texting – ignoring the laws and your personal safety – will shock you.
Cellphone Laws in America… Did you know?
● 41 states, including Connecticut, banned texting for all drivers and six other states prohibited texting for novice drivers;
● 12 states, including Connecticut, banned drivers from using hand-held cell phones; and
● 37 states, including Connecticut, banned all cell phone use (hand-held or hands-free) by novice drivers.
Are penalties too lenient? In Connecticut, a first violation is punishable by a $150 fine; a second violation by a $300 fine; and each subsequent violation by a $500 fine.
Is enforcement too lax? Hard to know.
Why do people continue to do it? Do they not realize the danger?
According to one study (http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/facts-research/research-technology/report/FMCSA-RRR-09-045.pdf), sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent, at 55 mph, of driving the length of an entire football field. The study found that a driver’s risk of crashing while texting was 23 times greater than when not texting.
In addition, texting or using a cell phone while driving not only diverts the driver’s eyes from the road, but reduces the driver’s ability to process what he or she does see (http://www.psych.utah.edu/lab/appliedcognition/publications/distractionmultitasking.pdf).
So we ask the question once again.
What can you do to protect your family from people who text & drive?
- Always focus on the road in front of you – while looking occasionally to your rear and side. If you see a car that is not holding a straight line – assume a distracted or intoxicated driver and take appropriate evasive action. Always approach busy intersections with great care.
- Talk about the issue with family, friends and colleagues, encouraging each of them to put cell phones away when driving.
- If you run a business – make it very clear to your employees that they must not use a cell phone while driving at any time. They are not only endangering lives but they are also putting your business at risk.
If you’re ever injured in a car accident you suspect was tied to cell phone use, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.