Cell Phone Use While Driving Can Cause Major Car Accidents
The lawyers of Quick Law Group, PLLC always fight to provide clients with strong legal representation. We stand by the people of Kirkland and the greater Seattle area, and believe that injury victims need experienced legal counsel.
Many serious and fatal car accidents are caused by distracted drivers using their cell phones while they're behind the wheel. Let's take a moment to consider the dangers of cell phone use while driving.
The Danger of Cell Phones While Driving
Using cell phone while driving takes your attention away from the road, which means you're more likely to strike a vehicle, bicyclist, or pedestrian. Just a second looking down at your phone could mean the difference between a near miss and a serious or even fatal collision. Texting while driving is far more dangerous than talking on the cell phone while driving given how it occupies the hands and full attention of a driver.
Is It Legal To Use a Cell Phone While Driving in Washington?
Many states have recognized the dangers of cell phone use while driving. In the state of Washington, people are not allowed to use cell phones while driving unless they are using a hands-free set. Texting while driving is strictly prohibited except under very limited circumstances.
There are some exceptions to this rule. Drivers can use a cell phone while driving if:
- They are operating an authorized emergency vehicle
- They are reporting criminal behavior or a medical emergency
If you violate these cell phone driving laws, your first offense will result in a $124 ticket. It's considered a primary offense, which means a police officer may pull you over simply for using a phone behind the wheel.
Statistics on Cell Phones and Auto Accidents
These laws were passed because the numbers are sobering.
At any time during the day in the United States, it's estimated that 660,000 drivers are trying to use their cell phones. The National Safety Council estimates that 1.6 million accidents a year are the result of driver cell phone use, resulting in 330,000 injuries. Based on those numbers, that's 1 in every 4 auto accidents caused in some way by cell phone use.
Most alarming, texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving.
Putting Matters Into Perspective
Say you're driving down a highway at the speed limit and you are texting while driving. Your eyes are off the road for seconds at a time, meaning you do not have your full attention on the road. In the time it takes to read part of a text or type out part of a text, you will likely have traveled the length of a football field. A lot of things can happen in that time and that distance.
Parents: Stress Common Sense Safety to Young Drivers
If you have a teenage son or daughter who is learning to drive, be sure to stress proper safety at all times. Make sure they put their phones away while they're behind the wheel, and let them know that this should be common sense for the safety of everyone on the road. Trying to instill these kinds of behaviors in your son or daughter could save them from an accident later in life.
Learn More About Your Legal Options
For more information about your legal rights following serious auto accidents, be sure to contact our team of personal injury lawyers today. The attorneys at Quick Law Group, PLLC will work with you in your time of legal need.