Cell phone usage while driving leads to over 1.5 million crashes in the US, every year, according to statistics. Nearly 350,000 people are injured in such collisions, accounting for approximately 25% of all collisions across the country. In fact, cell phones are often referred to as the new killer on American roads as motorists are six times more likely to cause an accident while talking or texting on the cell phone than if they were driving drunk.
It’s not just texting or internet usage through a cell phone that keeps motorists distracted and likely to cause a crash. In more than 21% of motor vehicle collision cases, people are having a conversation when they end up in an accident, and many of them are using wireless devices for their discussion. According to one study, more than 50 minutes of conversation on the cell phone while driving can increase your risk of getting into a collision by 5 times.
What makes driving and cell phone usage such a deadly combination?
- • Regardless of your driving experience and familiarity with the route, you must devote your full attention to the road and your surroundings while manning a vehicle. Unfortunately, when the focus shifts from the windshield to the phone screen, there is a drastic reduction in the time and focus spent on visually scanning the road ahead.
- • Call for police assistance at the scene of the collision, particularly if the crash involves a ride-sharing driver. It is crucial to have the incident investigated by an impartial party.
- • With your eyes fixated on a phone, you are more likely to weave through lanes and drive through stop lights, not even noticing the risks you are taking.
- • Most of these dangerous maneuvers are carried out with just one hand on the steering wheel since the other is devoted to cell phone usage.
- • The text conversation itself is a huge distraction. Cognitive bandwidth is a finite resource, which means that the more of it you invest in your chatter the less you will have available for the act of driving, regardless of whether you are using a hand-held or hands-free device.
- • A study done at Carnegie Mellon University proved that when spatial processing competes with auditory processing, the latter emerges as a clear winner, commanding the majority of the cognitive resources.
- • To take away further from the already plunging attention levels of the motorist, the speaker on the other side of a cell phone does not have shared access to the visual cues of the road. Thus, when a motorist instinctively stops talking in reaction to an occurrence on the road, the remote speaker presses on, increasing communication to fill the void. In contrast, a passenger in the same vehicle may realize the potential danger of the situation and sensibly quite down.
The hazards of cell phone usage, when on the road, are certainly not limited to motorists. A number of viral videos exist that show pedestrians taking a tumble while engrossed in their phones.
The one thing that these clips clearly prove is the extent to which cell phone usage impacts the focus of the user on his/her surroundings. Pedestrians often end up in the middle of the road with absolutely no awareness of the vehicles around them.
Of all the cell phone activities that pedestrians indulge in, playing games seems to be the most distracting, and one that leeches away the maximum amount of on-road focus.
Using your cell phone when driving or walking is simply not worth it.
Kansas is a comparative fault state. This means that the fault for a collision will be shared by both parties if proven that they both contributed to the mishap. Pedestrians are the hardest hit when it comes to motor vehicle collisions. The cost of treatment and rehabilitation can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars. If it can be proven that the pedestrians use of a cell phone contributed to the collision, the victim may end up with drastically reduced compensation.
For drivers, a mere citation for using a hand-held phone while driving can send insurance costs sky rocketing. In case of a collision, the “at fault” party may also end up facing criminal charges.
In 2015, nearly 4,000 people were killed in collisions caused by distracted driving, while another 400,000 were gravely injured. It is imperative to put down your cell phone and keep your eyes on the road. Don’t become a part of those statistics.
If you were injured in a collision that involved cell phone distractions, contact DeVaughn James Injury Lawyers and we will fight to get you the medical treatment and compensation you deserve.