The Connection Between Cell Phone Use and Auto Accidents
Ever wonder about the correlation between cell phone use and auto accidents? Are the laws restricting the use of handheld devices justified? Let’s take a look.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation began collecting data concerning cell phone use and auto accidents in 2001. It was not until 2004 that the use of handheld devices was officially banned. Statistics are recorded on a county level as well as statewide.
We reviewed the data as it pertained to three local counties. We were particularly interested in Hudson, Essex and Bergen counties. In looking at the statistics for 2014, we note that Essex County exhibited the most number of cell phone related accidents. There were 227 crashes related to use of handheld devices. Those who used hands free cell phones were also involved in auto accidents. They accounted for 652 crashes in 2014.
Hudson County statistics showed that 127 auto accidents were related to the use of handheld cell phones. Five hundred accidents were attributed to the use of hands free devices. Bergen County drivers in 141 accidents were using handheld cell phones. Meanwhile, those who were using hands free devices accounted for 183 crashes.
What do these numbers prove? To us, the data speaks for itself. Although cellphone usage on handheld devices is banned, there is also an issue with those who use their cell phones within the confines of the law. Cell phones can be a major distraction.
Last year, the National Safety Council offered a press release on the safety of hands free devices and their use behind the wheel. It estimated that eighty percent of Americans feel they are safe talking on their phones as long as they are not holding them. The National Safety Council equates distracted driving with any cell phone usage. Studies show that the brain cannot multi-task efficiently. As a result, some individuals concentrate more on their conversations than on driving their vehicles.
What do you think? Have you ever missed an exit on the New Jersey Turnpike because you were too involved in setting up the evening’s plans? Have you received an upsetting phone call that distracted you from the road? Unfortunately, whether you use your phone with or without Bluetooth technology, you may find you are a distracted driver.
We have previously provided you with information concerning the perils of distracted driving. Cell phone use is only one type of distraction. Conversations with other passengers can be problematic. Obviously, texting on the phone can be an issue. The goal should be to concentrate on driving and nothing else.
Are you the victim of a car crash that involved someone using their cell phone? If you were injured, it is important that you receive experienced legal advice. At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have handled personal injury cases for almost three decades. Contact us for an appointment.