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Does Cell Phone Use Lead to More Car Accidents?

Cell phones are addicting, and like any addiction, cell phones can be detrimental to your health. Most people cannot live without it, or at least they feel that way. Cell phone use has become a part of everyday life.

People use a cell phone to make calls, send texts, and get directions. Recreationally, cell phones are used to listen to music, play games, send emails, and connect on a number of social media platforms.

Many cell phone users have trouble putting their phone down regardless of where they are or what they are doing. If you are operating a cell phone, you are not fully paying attention to anything else. If you are using a cell phone while you are watching television, it is no big deal: you may miss some of your show, but it is not going to harm you. If you are driving a car, however, using a cell phone could do just that—harm you.  

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2020, more than 3,100 people lost their lives because of distracted driving. Hundreds of thousands more were injured for the same reason. Cell phone use is a major contributor to numerous distracted driving accidents all over the U.S. every year, and there does not seem to be any end to this dilemma in sight.

Even if you are among those who are responsible enough to stay off your cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, there are hundreds of thousands of people out there at this very moment who are using their cell phones in a number of ways, all of which are causing them to be distracted.

It is important to take a look at the ways in which cell phones dramatically increase the chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

What Makes Using a Cell Phone So Dangerous?

Not many people spend much time thinking about the dangers of driving. That is in large part because most people have confidence in their ability to drive and to act responsibly. Having confidence in your responsible nature, however, normally does not work in your favor when it comes to cell phone use.

Simply put, most people, whether they are aware of it or not, are just too invested in using a cell phone, even while driving. Some research shows that using a cell phone makes a driver more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than driving drunk.

Why Do So Many People Use a Cell Phone While Driving Despite the Dangers?

Most drivers are accustomed to certain routines while driving. Keeping your concentration explicitly on driving may seem tedious, and that realization of boredom is when the danger sets in.

Using a cell phone is the most routine and dangerous of all distractions. It starts with the idea of multi-tasking: it is normal for people to believe that they can do more than one thing at a time. While many people may think of themselves as great multitaskers, we all overestimate that ability while behind the wheel of a car.

Operating a vehicle is among the activities that requires full mental and physical attention. It only takes a second for the conditions of a road to change, such as a driver in front of your vehicle who has suddenly slammed the brakes. In that instance, no multitasking ability could enable you to react with one-hundred-percent efficiency.

Many drivers need to feel that they are not going to miss something, such as a call, a text, or a social media message. Most cell phones are set up to indicate a message coming in, even a social media message. It is too tempting for avid cell phone users to show restraint when it comes to something that could be missed.

Our society today has become one that demands information at the touch of a button. It is considered the age of the internet, and it explains the need to multitask. Reading a breaking news story, replying to a comment from a friend, or taking a call that cannot wait are all temptations that, if acted upon, instantly lower a driver’s ability to remain safe on the road. Unfortunately, many drivers are so compelled to stay in the loop that safety becomes a distant-second.

A big part of the entertainment factor when driving is the search for music. It is bad enough while driving to become engaged in changing CDs, but to search a cell phone for music takes the danger factor to another zone. It simply takes too much concentration to scroll a cell phone. The light itself that a cell phone emits is dangerous to the eyes, but the biggest danger is the fact that the more searching you do for the music you like, the longer your eyes are off the road.  

What Can a Driver Do to Refrain from Using a Cell Phone While Driving?

The best medicine to beat cell phone addiction is to keep it out of sight and out of reach. Place your cell phone somewhere that does not allow you access to it. You should also not keep it in your sight. For some people, a cell phone is too tempting to look at and wonder what they might be missing. Turning it off is a good idea, but it is as easy to turn it on as it is to turn it off. Thus, keep it away from you.

You should plan ahead when it comes to your travels. Let people you expect a call or message from know that you are going to be traveling. There are also apps that allow you to leave a message to people that you are unavailable. There are apps that prevent you from texting while driving as well.

If you know an important phone call or message is coming in at a certain time, prepare to get off the road to receive it, and remain parked while you speak or text. The rule of thumb is to act responsibly: stay off the road when using a cell phone.

Lastly, find a way to entertain yourself. Listen to the radio, or play an audio book. Anything that requires little operation but delivers optimum entertainment value is much better than texting, which is the worst thing that a driver could do while driving.

Dayton Car Accident Lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC Represent Those Injured by Negligent Drivers.

If you have been seriously injured by a driver who was distracted or acted irresponsibly, you need a serious lawyer to represent you. Our experienced Dayton car accident lawyers at Wright & Schulte LLC will fight hard to bring you the compensation you deserve. Call us at (937) 222-7477 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Vandalia and Dayton, Ohio, we serve clients throughout Ohio.