In our fast-paced and technology-savvy society, it can be easy to develop an addiction to our cell phones. Far too often, however, drivers give into the temptation of texting while driving or talking on their cell phone while driving. But as many serious cell phone car accidents in Michigan have demonstrated, a call or a text while driving just isn't worth it, and can wait. There is a primary texting ban in Michigan that permits law enforcement officers to stop and cite a motorist for texting while driving on its own, without there needing to be an initial citation for a separate violation. However, there is no cell phone ban in Michigan against drivers using hand-held cell phones while driving or a ban exclusively for young drivers or bus drivers.
Cell Phone Use While Driving Accident Statistics
Cell phone use while driving is a serious form of distracted driving that causes thousands of motor vehicle accidents. What makes cell phone use while driving so dangerous is that it involves all three forms of distracted driving: visual, manual and cognitive. Based on information gathered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), almost 25 percent of motorists talk on their cell phone while driving. Of the 5,474 individuals killed in distracted driving-related accidents nationwide in 2009, 995 involved reports of cell phone use as a distraction, which amounts to 18 percent of distracted driving-related accident deaths. Of the additional 448,000 individuals injured in accidents that were reported to have involved distracted driving during this same year, 24,000 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction, which amounts to 5 percent of injured individuals in distracted driving-related accidents.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a driver who is using a hand-held cell phone is four times more likely to cause injuries in a motor vehicle accident than a driver who is not using a hand-held device of any kind. Moreover, a University of Utah study determined that motorists using any type of cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, whether it is hand-held or hands-free, demonstrated the same delayed reaction times when driving as motorists with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent, which is the legal limit for drinking and driving.
Cell Phone Motor Vehicle Crash Consequences
It only takes a second for a driver to become distracted from reading or sending a text message as well as answering or making a phone call for a serious crash to take place. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes that motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among individuals aged 5-34 and were responsible for over 2.3 million adult drivers and passengers being treated in emergency departments in 2009. Unfortunately, the risks of a motor vehicle accident occurring are high enough without cell phone use factored in, and sadly, there is only so much that even the most experienced driver can do to avoid an accident caused by a driver using a cell phone.
Holding Negligent Drivers Accountable
People who suffer injury and the family members of those killed in motor vehicle accidents caused by a cell phone distracted driver have legal rights and possible options for holding negligent parties accountable. The Southfield distracted driving car accident lawyers at Lipton Law may be able to help you and your family obtain compensation for pain and suffering, wages lost, medical costs, and other losses and damages. To learn more about how we can protect your legal rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve, contact us today. Call 800-CAR-CRASH for a free consultation.