Smartphones: The Usual Suspects in Car Accident Cases

Smartphones: The Usual Suspects in Car Accident Cases

Smartphones have become such an integral part of our way of life that we cannot seem to do anything without them. We’re always chatting, answering calls, going through social media, etc., and the most dangerous part is that we even do these things while driving. Such an action can be categorized as distracted driving, which is engaging in other activities as a driver that distract you from paying attention to the road.

It has been discovered that smartphone usage is one of the most common causes of distracted driving in recent times. As such, most state governments are seriously trying to eliminate this unsafe practice.

Even the victims can take part in making society safe. They can file a claim with the help of the best car accident attorneys and hold the negligent party accountable for their actions.

Apart from teenagers, the use of smartphones by other age groups is constantly increasing, and it’s not strange these days to find drivers using their smartphones in one way or another. Studies have proven that using a smartphone while driving is equivalent to driving under the influence, as both actions reduce an individual’s attention level as they continue to drive.

To reduce these accidents, state governments have set up laws and are considering more options. For instance, in Illinois, the use of all kinds of cell phones has been banned, and school bus drivers are not permitted to use their cell phones under any circumstances. In Indiana, the Hands-Free Law does not permit drivers to hold or interact with a cell phone while driving. However, drivers can use hands-free devices and voice-operated technologies such as a mounted phone holder, voice-activated commands, and Bluetooth.

To eliminate distracted driving caused by smartphone usage, there are a few precautions you can take, such as:

  • Turning off your smartphone
  • Storing the phone in a place that won’t distract, for instance, in the glove compartment.
  • Don’t text (even with a speak-to-text application) or call when driving.
  • Set up the GPS coordinators before you begin your trip.
  • Put your phone in silent mode if you cannot turn it off.
  • Pull off the road if you must answer a call.

It has been discovered, according to certain studies, that using your smartphone while driving increases the possibility of an accident. A study reveals that the reaction time of drivers who talk on their phones while driving is greatly reduced. So, you shouldn’t be surprised that the state governments are imposing these bans on smartphone usage while driving.

If you are caught violating the Hands-Free Law in Indiana, you could be fined and suffer a license point deduction. If you are caught violating the law after the first fine, it might lead to an increased fine and suspension of your driving privileges. In Illinois, the first fine for using your phone while driving is $75, while subsequent violations will see the fine rise to $150.

Furthermore, repeat offenders might get what is called a moving violation. When you have three of these violations on your driving record in one year, your driving privileges will be suspended.

Another law in Illinois states that if you are liable for a fatal accident because your smartphone distracted you, you could pay a fine of $25,000 or be sent to prison for a maximum of three years.

Social media has also proven to be risky and responsible for accidents due to the following:

  • Visual distraction
  • Promotes engagement between passengers and the driver.
  • Capturing and sharing a selfie demands more time than texting.
  • Promotes adventurous behavior.
  • Peak social media usage aligns with rush hour.
  • Mandates the driver to remove hands from the steering wheel

If you have been hit by a distracted driver, hire a car accident lawyer immediately. They will secure fair compensation for your financial, physical, and emotional losses.