A recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has revealed some changes in how drivers are using their cell phones when behind the wheel of their vehicle, yet the findings don’t signify a decrease in usage. In fact, after the IIHS conducted a 2018 roadside survey observing Virginia drivers, the results showed that 57% of drivers were more likely to be manipulating their cellphone than drivers who were observed in the 2014 survey. The IIHS reported that “the percentage of drivers observed manipulating a phone rose from 2.3 percent in 2014 to 3.4 percent in 2018.
Some examples of how a driver can manipulate their phone include:
- Sending or reading a text message or email.
- Checking in on social media.
- Taking a photo.
- Using their phone to explore other apps on their device.
- Programming their GPS on their phone.
Now, although there has been an increase in the number of drivers “fiddling” with their phones, the research also suggests that drivers are talking less on their devices while holding it. In 2018, 3.7% of motorists in Northern Virginia were observed by survey participants talking on their hand-held cellphone while the agency recorded 4.1% of drivers in 2014. Now, despite the fact that the survey was conducted in the state of Virginia, it is clear that cellphone usage while driving is a big concern for everyone living in the U.S., not just those residing in VA. Another major concern is drivers who are engaging in behavior that draws their attention away from the road.
What are some secondary behaviors that may also be contributing to distracted driving accidents?
Aside from cellphones taking up a driver’s attention, the IIHS lists some secondary behaviors that were observed during the same survey that also are considered distractions and should be avoided when behind the wheel of a vehicle. These secondary behaviors included:
- Holding hand-held device but not manipulating or talking on it.
- Wearing a Bluetooth earpiece or headset with mic.
- Wearing headphones or earbuds.
- Using a feature in the vehicle such as changing the radio, adjusting the temperature, or touching other controls.
- Manipulating or holding an electronic device other than a cellphone.
- Talking or singing.
- Eating or drinking.
- Grooming (i.e. styling hair or putting on makeup)
- Engaging in other types of behavior such as “reaching for an object, reading print material, adjusting sun visor, putting on glasses, holding another object.”
Were you recently involved in an auto accident in Alexandria, LA with a distracted driver?
Distracted drivers, which include those manipulating their cellphone or engaging in any of the secondary behaviors listed above contribute to the number of car crashes being recorded each year. In 2017 alone, more than 800 deaths were reported in accidents that involved a driver manipulating their cellphone. If you or a family member are the victim of a car collision that was caused by a careless motorist that wasn’t paying attention to the road and would like to recover compensation for the damage and injuries that were sustained, contact the Jones Law Firm.
Alexandria, LA car accident lawyer Davey Jones is familiar with the devastating effects a distracted driving accident has on a person and their family as he helps clients just like you on a daily basis fight for the justice they deserve. If you would like the opportunity to speak with attorney Davey Jones to learn more about how he can help you and what your case is worth, contact us today by calling 318-442-1515.