Accidents can happen to the safest drivers through no fault of their own. You may be on your way to Waterfront Park or the Jefferson Mall when you’re rear-ended by a driver on their cell phone.
While distractions aren’t always caused by cell phones, they do play a significant role in many car accidents in Kentucky and across the country.
The rise of distracted driving
In neighboring Virginia, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducted a follow-up to their 2014 survey studying distracted driving involving cell phone use. They found that drivers were 57 percent more likely to be using a cell phone than drivers in the 2014 survey. Drivers observed using their phone rose from 2.3 percent in 2014 to 3.4 percent in 2018.
The research points out that drivers are talking on their phones less and instead using them for other reasons. In 2018, 3.7 percent of drivers were observed talking on a cell phone, compared with 4.1 percent of drivers in 2014. In comparison, 2.8 percent of drivers in 2018 were seen holding a cell phone, which was 4.9 percent in the prior survey. Overall, the use of cell phones while driving has increased, despite the drop in using a phone to talk.
The risks involved
The IIHS estimates that using your cell phone while driving increases your chance of being in a fatal accident by 66 percent, an increase supported by a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. Based on this data, they also estimate that more than 800 fatal crashes in 2017 could be attributed to phone use.
Drivers have also noticed the change. In 2018, another study by AAA found that 64 percent of respondents view distracted driving as a much bigger problem today than it was three years ago.
Cell phones are more capable than ever and more tempting to use while driving. They can be used for calling, texting, music, browsing the web, updating social media, and more. When drivers put their focus on their phones, they put themselves and others at risk. Looking away from the road, even for just a moment, can cause a crash.
Car accidents come in many shapes and sizes, from rear-end crashes to head-on collisions. The Whaley Law Firm handles any type of car accident involving negligence, including broad-side collisions, hit-and-runs, and rollovers, among other common types of car wrecks. We also file wrongful death claims on behalf of families of people killed in fatal car accidents.
Contact us today for a free case evaluation.