Text messaging or talking on the phone while driving is a common occurrence. According to Pew Research Center, 64 percent of adult Americans use smartphones, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 660,000 people are using them while driving at any given moment. Some people view texting and talking while driving as completely harmless actions. However, phone usage is one of the leading causes of car accidents and subsequent injuries.
What Are The True Statistics?
Answering a quick text or phone call might seem safe, but a split second is all it takes to cause devastating personal injuries. To understand how dangerous phone use while driving is, you simply have to take a look at the statistics. Here are some recent statistics about cell phone usage and driving:
- The National Safety Council states that texting and talking while driving causes 1.6 million automobile accidents per year.
- One out of four automobile accidents are caused by drivers who are texting.
- Over 300,000 injuries per year are linked directly to texting while driving.
Unfortunately, many of these numbers and statistics stay steady or continue to rise. This is a big indicator that texting and talking while driving is a very serious issue.
What Are The Legal Repercussions?
Due to the above statistics, new laws have been created to prevent the use of cell phones while driving. 14 states have banned the use of hand-held cell phones while operating a vehicle. 46 states have banned text messaging while operating a vehicle.
The legal repercussions of texting while driving include monetary fines ranging from $20 to $500. Certain states charge drivers with misdemeanors if they are caught texting and driving. If cell phone usage causes an accident, drivers may face jail or prison sentences. Additionally, victims of these accidents may file personal injury claims against the drivers with the help of car accident attorneys.
What Should You Do If You Are Injured?
If you are injured in an automobile accident, you have the right to file a claim against the driver or drivers who are responsible for the accident. Even if criminal charges are not filed, you may be able to receive financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. There are many steps involved in filing a suit, and you must file within your state's statute of limitations. A statute of limitations determines how much time victims have to seek action. Seek the assistance of an auto accident attorney in order to explore your legal options.