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How Many Fatal Car Accidents Do Cell Phones Cause?

Distracted driving is a problem in the United States. Even though distracted driving has always been an issue on roads throughout the nation, it has claimed a considerable amount of attention recently from safety advocates due to the rise of cell phone usage by drivers. One thing is certain: cell phone distraction is a detriment to road safety. However, statistics regarding how deadly cell phone use is differs depending on where one finds it.

How Many Drivers Are Distracted by Cell Phones?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving killed a total of 3,166 people in 2017. The organization defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on the phone. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving caused by cell phones decreased by about 0.4 percent between 2016 and 2017. However, cell phone usage during fatal distracted driving accidents has increased from 12 percent to 14 percent of all distracted driving incidents since 2012. While this does mean that distraction from cell phones has decreased slightly, the devices still account for the same percentage of overall accidents.

Even though accidents caused by cell phones are occurring at a consistently increasing percentage, the NHTSA has also found that cell phone use is becoming less common amongst all age groups. The administration notes that the rate of cell phone use for drivers aged 16 to 24 has decreased by 4.5 percent, 2.9 percent for ages 25 to 60, and 0.5 percent for those 70 and over.

What Has Caused Cell Phone Use While Driving to Decline?

The Insurance Information Institute attributes declines in cellphone use to state laws that prohibit cell phones or other types of electronic devices from being used while driving. As of June of 2019, 19 states had laws prohibiting talking on a hand-held device.

However, some posit that these laws mostly increase awareness and do very little to prevent accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety claims that the best way to reduce distracted driving accidents is by using crash avoidance technology in more cars. While the IIHS does not suggest repealing cell phone laws, it does suggest that there might be more effective technological answers for the decline in crashes.

IIHS has research to back its theory. In Virginia, the organization found that even though phone usage has dropped in the state, drivers are engaging in riskier behavior in the moments they give into checking their device. Drivers in Virginia are spending more time manipulating their phones and focused on them. Experts found that these drivers are at risk of crashing which is 2 to 3.5 times higher than other phone users.

If You’ve Suffered Because of a Distracted Driver, Call Arnold & Itkin Today

Distracted driving is a problem throughout Texas and the United States. Next week, we’ll explore private research that reveals that cell phone use might actually be even more prevalent than the government estimates.

If you’ve sustained injuries because of a driver who was distracted by a cell phone, call Arnold & Itkin today. Our car accident lawyers know that no one deserves to suffer because of the reckless actions of another person and we’re ready to help. We’ve won billions for clients by never settling for less than they deserve and we’re ready to fight in the same way for you.

Call us right now at (888) 493-1629. A member of our team is standing by to provide you with a free consultation of your case.


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