December 9, 2021
Nowadays, using cell phones while driving is one of the most common bad practices. Distractors while driving and inside cars are diverse, but the most common and risky is using cell phones. The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that using cell phones while driving increases the risk of causing an accident or being involved in one by four times. The distraction produced by the use of cell phones reduces drivers’ ability to react in case of unexpected events.
Why do drivers use cell phones while driving?
In modern days, most adult drivers use their cell phones while driving either as a distraction or for road guidance. Regardless of the purpose, cell phones create a distraction resulting in drivers taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds. Some of the most common uses of cell phones by drivers are:
- Phone Calls. Telephone calls are more frequent in cars than in conventional places like home or office. Although calls are generally hands-free, which is legally allowed under restrictions in the United States, the drivers are distracted while talking on the phone and especially when placing a call.
- Text Messages. Receiving, reading, and sending text messages; is one of the riskiest distractions when driving. Not only because drivers’ minds stray away from the road but also their sight, which leads to so-called blind driving.
- GPS Use. Most drivers use their cell phones to access GPS applications for directions, traffic jams, information about closed roads, or alternative routes. When drivers decide to change their GPS set up in the middle of their trip, they rarely stop at a safe are to change their GPS directions.
- Selfies, photos, and videos. Drivers often take pictures or videos of everything that calls their attention. Then share them immediately, which is a critical distractor when driving and one of the most irresponsible practices.
- Listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks. Listening to one-way communication media is a mild distraction since drivers do not have major interaction with their cell phones.
Cell phone use and reduced senses while driving
The University of Iowa conducted a study that demonstrates that users’ vision narrows whenever they are making a call, this is also true when they do so while driving. The brain blocks side and rear vision, while only focusing on a tunnel of vision, which alarmingly reduces drivers’ awareness and reaction time when encountering a situation that could lead to an accident. In turn, the Institute of Advanced Motorists points out that responding to messages on social networks reduces drivers’ reaction capacity by almost 38%. To control the use of devices, the government implemented new laws that prohibit or limit the use of mobile devices that might require to be hand-held or touched while driving a motor vehicle.
Cell phone fines in the State of California
California banned cell phone use while driving; the initiative of this law and its continuous modifications is due to the increase of automobile accidents for this reason.
- The law prohibits the use of hand-held cell phones by all drivers.
- The law allows the use of cell phones by adults in hands-free mode.
- The law prohibits the use of cell phones in hands-free mode to those under 18 years of age.
- In all cases and at all ages, it prohibits the use of instant messaging while driving.
Fine amounts vary depending on the incident and its severity. These can range from $20 to more than $ 250. However, in some cases, drivers could get arrested for negligent use of cell phones while driving based on the mobile phone law enforcement.
If you or a family member has been involved in an accident due to the use of cell phones while driving, either by you or the other driver, it is necessary to contact a car accident attorney. A car accident lawyer from our friends of Unidos Legales will provide guidance and advice on how to handle your case. Remember that using your cell phone while driving is a negligent act, protect yourself and your loved ones.