Cell Phone Use and Car Accidents
Washington, DC Accident Lawyers
In 2010, the National Safety Council reported that approximately 28% of
car accidents (1.4 million annually) occur because of cell phone use, and the number
is expected to rise. Almost everyone who owns a cell phone will admit
to using it while driving. Unfortunately, talking on a cell phone significantly
interferes with your reaction time as a driver, and texting is even worse.
The level of driver distraction brought on by cell phone use rivals that
of drunk driving.
How Cell Phones Affect Your Reaction Time
Psychology professor and researcher David Strayer recently performed a
study on young adults who talk on their cell phones when driving. On average,
his test subjects – all between 18 and 25 years old – needed
18% more time to see and respond to brake lights from the cars ahead of
them. Additionally, they took longer to re-adjust their speed after they
initially slowed down.
The results were not affected by whether the cell phone was hands-free
or hand-held. The main factor that affected each driver’s reaction
time was divided attention. According to Strayer, cell phone use causes
a 20-year-old old driver suffer from the same delayed reaction time of
a 70-year-old driver.
Another study performed by Strayer and one of his colleagues found that
drivers who talk on their cell phones are just as impaired as a driver
who has a .08% BAC (Blood Alcohol Content), which is the legal limit in
The Dangers of Texting While Driving
Texting while driving is even more dangerous than talking on your cell
phone. Your reaction time deteriorates 35% when you text – far worse
than the 18% caused by merely talking, and beyond the distraction level
caused by drunk driving.
Texting forces you to remove your eyes from the road, remove one or both
hands from the wheel, and turn your conscious attention to something other
than driving. If you are traveling at 60 miles per hour, it only takes
2-4 seconds of inattention for a car accident to occur. These statistics
become even more unsettling when you consider that almost half of all
drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 have admitted to texting while driving.
If you have been injured in a car accident with a driver who was texting
or talking on their cell phone, make sure you are getting the compensation
you deserve. Please contact our experienced car accident attorneys at
Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C. today for a free initial