Cell phone use is the culprit behind one in four car crashes, which is up from the previous year, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). In their 2014 edition of Injury Facts, the safety advocate reveals that texting figured in five percent of crashes while 21 percent involved use of hand-held or hands-free devices.
In an attempt to stem this accident rate, Florida banned the use of texting while driving in 2013. Unfortunately, this law is subject to secondary enforcement, which studies have shown to be ineffective. Drivers can only be cited for texting if they are pulled over for a primary offense, such as speeding. The state does not ban talking on any kind of a phone.
If you’re thinking that using a hands-free cell phone while driving is safe, the NSC begs to differ. Any kind of conversation distracts your brain, whether or not you’re actually holding the phone. When you talk on a device, you shift your focus from the road, which increases your risk of a car crash. The same goes for voice-to-text, which according to a study by Texas A&M, took even more time to complete compared to manual texting. Between the two text methods there was almost no change in driver performance, with both forms of texting adversely affecting concentration equally.
The best way to avoid an incident is to turn off your phone when you drive. Better yet, to avoid any temptation, keep the phone in an area that is not easily accessible. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts to follow the law and observe safety precautions, you can still suffer a car crash from another cell phone user. You can’t control what the other person is doing with their device, so if that happens, give us a call. As your personal injury lawyers, we’ll fight for your rights.