Why Cell Phones Increase the Risk of Severe Auto Accidents

By Mark T. Flickinger, JD on July 11, 2016

Texting while driving is dangerousSerious auto accidents can have consequences that last a lifetime. That's why the lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton fight so hard for injury victims throughout Provo and the state of Utah. Serious Auto accidents can lead to disability and death, and negligent parties who caused these tragedies need to be held accountable.

Whiled drunk driving and speeding are two major dangers, we've noticed more and more accidents related to cell phone use while on the road. Let's explore these dangers and note some important Utah statutes pertinent to these matters.

The Dangers of Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel

If you're using a cellphone while you are driving, you can put your life, your passengers' lives, and the lives of others on the road at risk. While distracted, you may get into auto collisions or strike pedestrians and bicyclists due to inattention.

There are two common issues that lead to injury:

  • Talking on the Phone While Driving – If you are talking on your phone while driving and not using a hands-free kit in your car, you are likely to become distracted while engaged in conversation. What's more, holding your phone in place means that both of your hands are not on the wheel, which can be extremely dangerous.

  • Texting While Driving – Texting while driving means diverting your eyes from the road and having at least one hand off of the wheel. As you can imagine, the dangers of texting while driving are much greater than just talking on the phone while driving.

Why Distracted Driving Is So Deadly

When you text while driving, your eyes are off the road for seconds to read the screen. Just a few seconds of distraction is all it takes for an accident to occur. If you text while driving on the freeway, you will cover the entire length of football field while looking at your phone rather than the road. A lot can happen in that distance.

According to 2012 statistics, 18 percent of all fatal auto collisions involved driver distraction of some form. These kinds of accidents claimed 3,328 lives and injured roughly 421,000 people. Because of these dangers, acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog did an emotionally charged 2013 documentary short on texting while driving titled From One Second to the Next.

Cell Phone and Driving Laws in Utah

The state of Utah has specific laws regarding cell phone use while you are behind the wheel.

  • Talking on the Phone While Driving – In Utah it is legal to talk on the phone while you are driving. However, it's best to consider the use of a hands-free kit in order for you to have both hands on the wheel at all times.

  • Restrictions on Texting While Driving – Texting, browsing the internet, and other comparable activities that involve the phone are strictly prohibited.

Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Attentive

It's always better to be safe than sorry. When you are driving, be sure to have both hands on the wheel. Never text while on the road. If you need to get directions or check a message, be sure to pull off the road into a safe location, such as a parking lot or curb, park you car, and then check your messages or look for directions as needed.

Parents should enforce these kinds of rules with their children as they are learning to drive or just getting behind the wheel. Common sense safety can save lives.

Speak with Our Auto Accident Attorneys

For more information about cell phone use, auto accidents, and your options for legal action, be sure to contact our team of personal injury attorneys today. The lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton are here to help you in your time of legal need.

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