The use of cell phones, PDA’s and other wireless devices has become increasingly popular over the last decade. With over 200 million cell phone subscribers in the US, it’s not hard to imagine that many auto accidents are at caused by drivers distracted using their phones while negotiating the roadway.
How distracting is using a cell phone while driving? In findings reported in the journal NeuroImage a team of psychologists discovered that attending to a conversation significantly distracts the brain from processing complex visual information. Another study at Carnegie Mellon University, has found striking similarities between drivers under the influence of alcohol with those using cell phones while driving!
Recent Florida court cases show the culpability of cell phones in car crashes. A jury in Florida awarded the wife of a man killed in a car accident $5.2 million dollars when it found a 17 year old driver was using a cell phone at the time of the accident.
If you are in a car accident and believe the other driver was behaving carelessly or was distracted by his or her cell phone, note the exact time of the accident. This is important because so that your attorney can look at the other driver’s phone records. Be certain to give this information to officers when they arrive to investigate the accident, and also ask to have the cell phone number of the individual recorded. You may also ask witnesses if they saw the other driver talking on their cell phone prior to the crash.