Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Phone Distractions while Driving an Even Bigger Problem than Previously Understood

A man talking on phone while driving

Driving along hectic and jam-packed Southern California freeways is perilous enough, even while dedicating your full attention to the task. Despite the inherent risks of driving on such busy roads, many drivers in Los Angeles can’t resist the siren call of their phones while behind the wheel. Many drivers deny that they have a habit of texting and emailing while driving, but it doesn’t take long to spot a driver with their head facing their lap, engrossed in their phone, rather than focused on the road ahead.

Texting and driving is an undoubtedly dangerous habit, but it has historically been challenging to discover how many drivers are using their phones before being involved in a crash. For the most part, law enforcement officers and safety researchers depend on either eyewitnesses who can report having seen the driver on their phone before a crash, or on a confession from the drivers themselves. Since texting while driving is against the law in 48 states, drivers are rarely willing to admit to this behavior after being involved in an accident, and may be unable to do so if they were fatally injured in the crash.

A company named Cambridge Mobile Telematics has created a product which provides one way to bridge this gap in knowledge about the effects of texting while driving. The tech company has created a smartphone app that can track driver behavior, such as speed, braking habits, turning, and, most importantly, phone use. The company gathered and analyzed data from the users of its app to learn more about the frequency of phone use prior to a crash. The company learned that using a cell phone while behind the wheel more than triples the risk of being involved in an accident. In fact, according to their data, in a startling 52% of all drives that resulted in a collision, drivers had been using their phone for an average of over 2 minutes prior to the crash. The study also found that drivers living in states where all handheld phone use is illegal, such as California, used their phones only marginally less often than did drivers in other states. The study presented a shocking reminder of the dangers presented by negligent and distracted drivers.

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Southern California and need help getting the money you deserve for your injuries, contact the dedicated and seasoned Los Angeles car accident lawyers at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation on your case, at 310-553-6630.

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