Can you guess?
Cell phone use. Twenty-three percent of all car accidents annually – or 1.3 million – are caused by drivers using their mobile devices while driving. Over 400,000 people suffer injuries in these accidents each year.
While driving or sitting at a light, have you ever looked to see how many drivers are on their cell phones while they drive?
How can you tell? In one of two ways… either you can see the phone next to the driver's head or you can see the driver looking down for extended periods of time (this driver is the MOST dangerous of the group – for obvious reasons).
Look when you go out next time. The number of people you'll see every single day driving while talking or texting - ignoring the laws and endangering your personal safety – will shock you.
Did you know?
- 48 states, including Connecticut, prohibit texting by all drivers;
- 24 states, including Connecticut, prohibit drivers from using hand-held cell phones; and
- 36 states, including Connecticut, prohibit all cell phone use (hand-held or hands-free) by novice drivers.
Are penalties for cell phone use 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?
Did you know that texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk?
According to one study, 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 hand-held cell phone while driving not only diverts the driver's eyes from the road but, according to research from the University of Utah, reduces the driver's ability to process what they do see
What can you do to protect your family from these drivers?
- Always focus on the road in front of you – while occasionally looking to your rear and side. If you see a car 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 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 hand-held cell phone while driving. They're not only endangering lives, but they’re 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 and Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for more than 65 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.