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A lawyer explains the risks of using a cellphone while driving

Pennsylvania auto accident attorneyCellphone distractions continue to pose a serious threat to everyone using the roads, recent research reveals.

While drivers are talking and holding phones less these days than in years past, they are fiddling with the devices more than ever, according to research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The IIHS study was conducted in Virginia, where a roadside survey in 2018 found that drivers were 57 percent more likely to be manipulating a cellphone than they were in 2014.

Manipulating a phone involves a wide range of actions including but not limited to:

  • Dialing phone numbers
  • Typing text messages
  • Surfing the web

The manipulation of cellphones while driving is estimated to have caused 800 crash deaths in 2017, according to IIHS.

The new research reveals how the evolution of technology is changing the way people get distracted with their phones. Distracted driving, which comes in many forms, including cellphone usage, is still a major problem. In fact, one survey conducted in 2018 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that most respondents agree it’s a bigger problem today than it was three years earlier.

Distracted driving prevention

Many states, including Pennsylvania, have enacted laws to crack down on drivers who text. Police in Pennsylvania can pull over a driver who is suspected of reading, composing or sending a text while driving. Because texting while driving is a primary offense, police don’t need any other reason to pull over a suspected distracted driver.

Cellphones are not the only problem. The IIHS study found that 23 percent of drivers were distracted by some type of activity. Here are just a few observed activities:

  • Pushing buttons on an in-vehicle system, such as a radio or climate control
  • Talking or singing
  • Eating or drinking
  • Smoking
  • Grooming

Why distracted driving accident victims should consult with an attorney

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that driver distraction is linked to 8- 10 percent of all fatal accidents. The total number of crash deaths due to distractions are likely underestimated because drivers who cause accidents might lie to police when asked if they were using a phone or otherwise distracted.

As attorneys who have represented victims of distracted driving, we know how complicated these types of cases can be. The at-fault driver may deny doing anything wrong. Even when the other driver is clearly at fault, such as in a rear-end accident, the driver’s insurance company may try to convince you to accept a quick, small settlement. They may try to downplay your injuries.

That’s why you need an experienced distracted driving attorney on your side. Let us fight for you and protect your rights if you were in an accident caused by a distracted driver. Contact the team at McNelis Law today for a free consultation.

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