There was a time when cell phone use actually reduced the number of traffic fatalities. As a recent study shows, when cell phones were first introduced in the 1980s, they had a “life-saving effect” because they made it easier to call for help after an accident. But as cell phones became more widespread, they began to pose a serious threat to traffic safety.
Consequences of Cell Phone Use
According to the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, more than 2,600 deaths–and upwards of 330,000 injuries–annually can be attributed to use of cell phones by drivers. The effect of cell phone use on a driver has been compared by many experts to that of severe intoxication.
In addition to taking one of the driver's hands off the wheel, a cell phone serves as a distraction to the driver. Experiments have demonstrated that people are much less slow to respond—even in situations where failing to respond would result in an accident—while they are talking on the phone. Even hands-free cell phones are dangerously distracting; studies have shown that they take a driver's mind off the road in a way that conversations with passengers do not.
The introduction of text messaging in the 1990s added a new danger to cell phone use. Text messaging, which requires a driver to take his or her eyes off the road, is even more dangerous than talking on the phone while driving. A driver who texts behind the wheel is far more likely than the average driver to become involved in a road accident.
If you have been involved in an accident in which the other driver was distracted by a cell phone, a personal injury lawyer's services are indispensable. At Malman Law, a personal injury firm serving the Chicago area, our personal injury lawyers bring more than 17 years of experience with personal injury cases to the table. When you need a personal injury attorney, call (312) 983-6193 to schedule a consultation with one of our injury lawyers, or visit our website to learn more about our areas of practice.
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