Use of a cell phone while behind the wheel can make many different kinds of traffic accidents more likely since drivers have delayed reaction time and less of their cognitive abilities are focused on the road. Experienced rear-end accident lawyers in Beaufort knows rear-end collisions are one of the most common kinds of accidents on the road and are more likely to occur in situations where a driver is using a cell phone.
Restrictions on phone use are supposed to reduce accident rates, but some question whether restrictions are enforced well enough to act as a true deterrent to bring collision rates down. Recent research from Southern Methodist University suggests that strict rules on cell phone use can have a measurable effect on the number of rear-end crashes. The data shows fewer crashes when cell phone bans or restrictions are in effect, so drivers should be sure to avoid using a phone if they want to reduce their chances of getting into a rear-end accident.
Cell Phone Laws Can Reduce Rear-End Collision Dangers
Research reviewed the number of rear-end crashes in California both before and after strict laws were put into place addressing the use of cell phones by drivers. California's data was chosen because California has some of the most stringent anti-distraction laws of anywhere in the United States.
In California, a driver who is under 18 cannot use either a handheld or hands-free phone. A driver 18 and older can use a hands-free kit but can be cited for using a handheld device for any reason including using the phone as a GPS. The California law is a primary enforcement law so drivers get tickets for phone use even if they don't break any other traffic rules.
Before California's ban was passed, there were 13,552 rear-end crashes reported between 2006 and 2008. After California's cell phone ban was passed, there were 11,708 rear-end accidents that occurred from 2008 to 2010.
Researchers accounted for the other things that could possibly have made the rear-end crash rate higher before the ban went into effect. Factors considered included unemployment, rainfall, miles driven (as determined by fuel consumption), and the number of new drivers. Even once other potentially important conditions were accounted for, the search still showed a reduction in the number of rear-end crashes once the cell phone ban was in effect.
The number of cell phone users has increased dramatically, from 13 percent of the U.S. population in 1995 to more than 91 percent of the population today. At any time, around 11 percent of people who are driving are on their phones. These drivers are putting themselves and others at greater risk of rear-end accidents by using their phones behind the wheel. To help stay safe and reduce the risk of injury to others, it is important not to use your phone and to pay attention to what the car in front of you is doing.
A Beaufort South Carolina personal injury attorney can help if you've been injured or a loved one was killed in an accident. Contact Twenge + Twombley today at 866-452-6315 for a free case consultation.