Distracted driving and smartphones make a dangerous combination. In fact, distracted driving is so dangerous that more than 45,000 car crashes involve distracted driving in 2020. There are countless things that cause and contribute to crash risks. However, none of these risks are so new and so widely accepted by drivers as smartphones.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert attention from the primary task of driving.” Many people consider smartphones to be the primary culprit behind most distracted driving. The NHTSA takes a much broader view of the topic. In fact, the NHTSA has said that “[b]esides using electronic gadgets, distractions can also include adjusting a radio, eating and drinking, reading, grooming, and interacting with passengers.”
However, for our purposes in this blog, we’re going to concentrate mainly on distracted driving and smartphones. Smartphones can distract drivers in so many ways.
We use today’s cell phones for much more than making telephone calls. In fact, the cell phones people typically use today are basically supercomputers. We use our smartphones for phone conversations, text messages, checking email, listening to podcasts, navigation, social media, and reading both articles and books. It is no surprise that auto accidents in the US are on the rise in part due to distracted drivers.
The High Incidence of Distracted Driving with Smartphones
Drivers take their eyes off the road while driving because of cell phones. Despite a lifetime of warnings, many people still text while driving. Additionally, likely because they’ve grown up with cell phones, teen drivers are often guilty of texting while driving. And despite these hand held phones having hands-free options, you only need to look around in traffic to see that many drivers aged 16 to 60 do not use that option.
Recently, a study revealed that as much as 90% of drivers are using cell phones while driving. State Farm Insurance Company conducted a study on distracted driving and cell phone usage while driving. The study found that 90% of distracted drivers were emailing while driving. The study also found that another 30% admitted to reading while driving.
There is no doubt that this relaxed attitude toward distracted driving has caused thousands of people to be injured in crashes involving distracted driving. Additionally, distracted driving has contributed to hundreds of fatal crashes in 2020 in Florida alone. Florida residents decided to eschew safety in order to be able to text their friends and people were killed as a result.
Common Distracted Driving Automobile Accidents
Distracted drivers’ cell phone use while driving can lead to numerous types of car accidents. However, the act of taking your eyes off of the road tends to lend itself to certain types of accidents. Below are some primary examples of types of motor vehicles accidents distracted driving and smartphones cause:
- Rear-end collisions – Easily the most common type of car accidents, rear-end collisions very often can involve distracted drivers. It is easy to imagine a driver looking down to check their latest text message. The driver takes their eyes off of the road to unlock their phone and scroll to the message. However, the vehicles in front of the driver have stopped. Then the distracted driver runs into the rear-end of the stopped vehicles.
- Red-Light accidents – Distracted drivers take their eyes off of the road. Clearly that means they take their eyes off of traffic signals as well. When distracted drivers take their eyes off of traffic control signals, they can drive straight into oncoming traffic. When vehicles enter intersections without caution, T-bone collisions occur. T-bone collisions are incredibly dangerous.
This list is certainly not exhaustive of the types of accidents that distracted driving can cause. Instead, distracted driving and smartphones can lead to any number of other types of accidents. It is imperative that we as a society distracted driving involving cell phones in check.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving with Smartphones
The key to preventing future distracted driving is to educate young drivers. If we can improve these groups’ understanding of the dangers of distracted driving and smartphones, we may be able to prevent many distracted driving accidents.
It is logical to think that if young drivers and young future drivers have it explained to them that they are likely to cause or suffer a fatal injury due to cell phone use while driving, they will be more likely to stop driving with their smartphones in hand. Additionally, these drivers might be more willing to listen to reason if distracted driving laws are made much more serious and are much more rigorously enforced.
There is simply no way to be 100% protected while driving on Florida roadways. However, here are some quick tips to stay safe and avoid distracted drivers and smartphones:
- Stop and wait an extra two seconds before proceeding (even after the light has turned green) to avoid being struck by a driver running a red light. This way, drivers that have accelerated in order to catch the light will already have had time to make the intersection.
- Always yield at four-way stops. We’ve all been at a four-way stop and felt that it was our turn. Then another driver proceeds through the intersection out of order. Letting other drivers proceed through the intersection before you do will do a great deal to prevent accidents from drivers that were not going to stop to allow other vehicles with the right-of-way through. Additionally, you should be certain that the drivers of any other vehicles have come to a complete stop before proceeding through the intersection.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, even when it comes to distracted driving.
Call Knapp Accident & Injury Law
When you’ve been involved in a car crash because of distracted driving, you need an attorney that cares about you and your rights. You need an attorney that understands how to build a case against a distracted driver and their insurance company.
Knapp Accident & Injury Law has the tools and experience necessary to get you or your loved ones justice for your distracted driving accident. If a distracted driver injured you, or someone you know or love, call Knapp Accident & Injury Law. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to protect your rights. Call (813) 568-3724 today for a free consultation for your potential distracted driving personal injury case.