Were you involved in a Car Accident related to Cell Phone use? Choose an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer. Choose Parker Scheer LLP.
There can be no real dispute but that using a cell phone while driving can be distracting. Drivers must divert their attention away from the road to look up a contact, dial a number, or even answer a phone call. As a result, there has been a steady increase in the rate of car accidents caused by cell phone use. In 2010, the National Safety Council estimated that 1 out of every 5.4 million car crashes in the United States – about 1.1 million – involved drivers who were talking on their phones at the time. Another 3% of car crashes, or 160,000, involved those who were texting while driving.
Because of the increased risk of car crashes, many states have enacted laws to regulate the use of cell phones by driver. In 39 states, including Massachusetts, it is illegal to use text-messaging services while driving. Despite this law, it is very difficult to police this behavior and the law protects those who have been involved in a car crash from turning over their phone, which could incriminate them. As a result, the real statistics regarding the link between text messaging and car crashes will never be known.
In 10 states (not Massachusetts), there is outright ban on the use of cell phones unless the driver uses a hands free system. However, research has shown that in those states that have ban hand held cell phone use, the rate of accidents has not decreased. On July 1, 2008, California banned the use of hand held cell phones while driving. However, data reviewed from 2008 show no decrease in the rate of accident from before to after the ban. There are currently no states that ban the use of cell phones outright for drivers.
In most states, those driving with a junior operator licenses (“JOL”) are barred from using a cell phone at all. In addition, those with JOLs that are caught using a cell phone face a mandatory loss of license and fines to have their JOL reinstated. Studies have shown that while the incidence of car accidents has been lowered since the implementation of these laws, car accidents among teenagers is still the leading cause of death among this age group.
Any evidence of use of a cell phone – lawful or unlawful – can still be used as evidence of negligence in a case relating to a car accident. All operators owe a duty to other drivers to use reasonable care when operating a motor vehicle. If a driver is shown to have been distracted because of their use of a cell phone while driving, that evidence would be used against them in a civil proceeding. Because of the higher risk of accidents when using a cell phone, the bumper stickers are worth reading “Drive Now, Talk/Text Later.”
Do You Need A Car Accident Lawyer? Find out if you have a cell phone related case in Boston, Massachusetts.
If you have suffered an injury in an auto accident due to the other car driver’s negligence, contact our car accident attorneys for a free confidential case review and receive a response within hours, or call (617) 886-0500 . If you need a car accident lawyer outside of Massachusetts, contact us for a referral.