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Americans driving while talking on their cell phones or texting are distracted both visually and mentally, and, according to a study by the University of Utah, a cell phone user is just as dangerous behind the wheel as an intoxicated person. Thousands of people die every year in transportation accidents that result from cell phone use.
The attorneys at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP are making an effort to increase public awareness of the dangers of cell phone use while driving and to prevent unnecessary injuries and deaths from truck and car wrecks.
Washington, D.C., and Maryland both have laws in place prohibiting drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving, and Virginia has a similar law in progress. These laws ticket drivers who use a cell phone without a hands-free device and the legislature designed these laws to make the roads safer. Several other states and municipalities have similar laws, but cell phone use while on the road continues to rise.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, 81 percent of all U.S. residents admit to using their cell phones while driving, and 52 percent of all 16-to-17-year-olds with cell phones admit to using them on the road. Cell phone use while driving is distracting and causes slower reaction time. Many auto accidents occur when a driver is conducting business on his or her cell phone; a business call is likely to be even more distracting than a personal call because the speaker is trying to focus on the conversation and not the road.
While business calls do have urgency, discussing business on a cell phone while driving is very dangerous, and Americans should pull over for conference calls, meetings or even office check-ins.
Texting while driving is exceptionally dangerous; when you type or read a text message, your hands are off the wheel and your eyes are off the road.
Cell phone use can result in fatal car accidents. An article by the American Journal of Public Health, reveals that tens of thousands of people have died in the U.S. because of texting while driving.
Teenage drivers are the biggest texting-while-driving culprits; the Pew Research Center indicates that 25 percent of American teenagers aged 16 and 17 with cell phones admit to texting while driving, and nearly half of teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 say they have been in a car while the driver was texting.
If a distracted driver has injured you or has injured or killed a family member in a motor vehicle accident, you may have the right to compensation for that driver’s negligence.
Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case. I am Julie Heiden, attorney at Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP