We all do it. It’s so hard to resist when your phone makes that beep, a quick glance won’t do any harm. It’s not always dangerous, I check at red lights mostly. I need to look at it to check my map anyway! I have to look at it. That’s what we tell ourselves. More and more States and counties around the country are saying they don’t care if you have to check it. If you’re involved in an accident while on your phone then you’ll shoulder some of the blame; maybe the majority of it.
The numbers don’t lie
A statistic was released by the national Safety Council in 2010 claiming that 28% of car accidents are influenced or caused by drivers talking or texting on a cell phone. The shocking number lead government officials to create an organization designed to raise awareness and stop dangerous phone use in cars. The organization is called Focus Driven and it’s board of directors are all people with personal experience of surviving or being directly impacted by collisions caused by cell phone use.
Focus Driven expounds these tenants under an “About Us” section on their website:
- We are proof that hands-free phones are no safer than handheld devices.
- We are proof that texting and driving is a deadly combination.
- We are proof that our nation’s roadways need to be safer now!
If you are on a cell phone and in a car accident you can be blamed
it’s not always clear who is at fault in a car wreck and if it can be proven you were on a cell phone during the collision, you might find yourself at the mercy of the court. Every time you take your peepers off the road and put em on that pretty new smart phone you are putting your self and others at risk.
Even a more cut and dry accident where one party made an obvious violation and caused the crash. If taken to court and the driver who caused the collision is able to prove you were on a cell phone, it may qualify as negligence on your part and both parties can be found at fault.
Multi tasking is not a thing you can do.
It’s actually agreed upon that multi tasking does not accomplish much. Most people think they are good at balancing several tasks at once, but in actuality you are distracting yourself more than anything. Attempting to shift your brain from driving, to reading, to texting and then back to driving might seem like multi tasking, but in actuality every second you spend texting is a second you re not paying attention to the road. Because you are fast at texting it may seem like you are transitioning seamlessly, but it only takes a second for an accident to happen. Maybe that’s why so much business happens in New York City, nobody owns a car so they can focus solely on their phone call or text message.
You can get cited for simply looking at your phone
Even if you are not in an accident there are many states that will still give you a ticket for using your phone in the car. This includes checking your messages or texting while the car is stopped at a red light or stop sign. If you are truly helpless with out your phone, then invest in a hands free device or a car mount that allows the phone to mount to your dashboard so you don’t have to look down or away from the road. Some states may even consider using a hands free device as illegal so be sure you are well informed about the law in your state.
The police are looking for you
New techniques are being taught and implemented by law enforcement officers to catch people using cell phones while driving. Police have stated on record that someone using a cell phone while driving can drive as reckless as someone under the influence of alcohol. A new technique for acting offenders involves “covert” enforcement. Covert enforcement means a plain clothes officers will stake out high traffic intersection and take note of cell phone violators, this officer will then call ahead to and notify a cruiser that is up the road from the intersection. When the car passes the cruiser they will pull them over and issue a ticket.
You can be held responsible if your Employee is on his cell phone while in an accident
That’s right. If an employee is on a business call while involved in an accident you may find your business in jeopardy . If it can be proven the call in question was business in nature a savvy attorney may suggest that their client sue the business, so that they can go after a larger settlement. Forward thinking businesses are telling employees not to take business calls while driving and smarter businesses are taking legal actions to protect themselves from that eventuality.
Your insurance rates may increase
If you ARE found responsible for a car accident because of cell phone use, your rates will see a definite increase. Of course rates usually rise after any accident, but insurance companies are now employing many new initiatives like “good driver rewards” that will lower rates if a driver goes a long time without an accident. On the other side of the coin adjusters are also paying closer attention to bad driving habits and they will take any opportunity they can to increase premiums.
You should have a plan
Car accidents are unforeseeable and most people on the road think they’re invincible. Drivers wantonly check their cell phones, paying no mind to their surroundings. You don’t have the power to stop everyone, so your best line of defense isn’t prevention, it’s protection. Understand the laws of the road, if you have a business look into liability insurance and stop looking at your phone while on the road. For more information on how to protect yourself and your finances visit Optimum Health Care El Paso. Stay Safe Out There!