Cell Phones and Car Accidents

Using a cellular phone while driving may present a serious hazard, even when a driver is using a hands-free device. This topic is a subject of much controversy. Cell phone use has been attributed to a number of serious and fatal auto accidents, but some argue that using a cell phone is no more dangerous than having a live conversation with a passenger, adjusting the radio or driving while performing a similarly accepted activity. Some states have forbidden the use of cell phones while driving, unless the driver uses a hands-free device.

Driver Distraction Caused by Cell Phone Usage, Even When "Hands-Free"

Even when using a hands-free device, a driver may be distracted by talking on the phone. Driving requires mental, physical and visual attention. Using a cell phone may affect all of these, to varying degrees.

Though newer models of cars may have the option of voice dialing, many drivers are still faced with the challenge of dialing the phone while driving. This will take the driver's visual attention from the road and may required one or even both of his or her hands to dial. Mental attention may be affected by the phone conversation itself, whether it is conducted using a hands-free device or the driver is holding the phone in his or her hand. If the driver is paying attention to the phone conversation, to some degree he or she is not paying attention to the road.

It only takes a split second for an accident to occur. Even the smallest moment in time may make a difference when a driver needs to stop suddenly to avoid an obstacle in the road or traffic that has stopped ahead. A driver whose attention is not fully on the road may also veer from his or her lane, may run a red light or stop sign or may otherwise violate a traffic law and cause a serious accident.

Injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was talking on the phone?

If you or someone you love was injured in a car accident caused by a driver who was using his or her cell phone while driving, you may wish to consider your ability to hold that driver accountable. Depending on the state in which the accident occurred, you may or may not be able to hold the driver liable for damages. The extent of injury you sustained may also affect your claim.

In some cases, a driver may have been on a work-related phone call at the time of the accident. If this occurred in your accident, it may be possible to sue the employer. These cases are more complex, as it will be necessary to prove that the employer required the driver to be on the phone while driving.

If you are looking for legal counsel to handle a car accident claim that involves a driver who was using a cell phone, click here to find a local lawyer.