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Why Cell Phones Cause Car Accidents?

Car Accident

Distracted driving is a big problem on US roads. Around 8% of fatal car accidents are caused by some kind of distraction, whether a driver was too busy changing channels on their radio or tried watching a TikTok video instead of the road ahead. Sadly, cell phone use behind the wheel is part of the wider problem because many of us can’t bear to be cut off from our beloved devices, even when we are driving.

Cell phones are best left in a bag or the trunk during a car journey, but if you insist on keeping your cell phone close while driving, here are the main ways they can cause accidents. 

You’re Not Looking at the Road

Modern smartphones are horribly distracting. They ping all day long with notifications and chances are, your friends love to send you text messages and tag you in social media posts. If a cell phone is within easy reach, it is very tempting to look at the screen when a notification flashes. Perhaps you are waiting for an important email or your girlfriend to reply to a message you sent before setting off.

Whatever the reason, if your attention leaves the road ahead for even a second, you could miss something vital, like a child stepping into the road, or a truck turning ahead. That small moment of distraction is enough to cause a major car accident

Your Attention is Elsewhere

Even if you are looking at the road ahead, having a cell phone in your lap is a massive distraction. You don’t need to see the screen to know if an email has arrived or someone has tagged you. Phones vibrate even in silent mode. Just knowing the phone is there can distract you enough to stop you from spotting something important. 

If only 50% of your attention is on the road, the other 50% is somewhere online, perhaps thinking about a text message you received or a social media post you liked. The problem is that 50% isn’t enough when you are in control of a 6000-pound SUV that takes 18 meters to stop on a dry road. It’s even worse in poor driving conditions where ideally, 100% of your focus is needed to keep you and other road users safe. 

Driving One-Handed

Are you the kind of person who likes to live-stream your journey, so your Facebook followers can take the journey with you? Using a cell phone is not so bad if you are sitting in stationary traffic, but it is a problem when you are driving at 70 mph on the freeway in heavy rain. 

Holding a cell phone in your hand means you only have one hand firmly gripping the steering wheel. You don’t need to be an accident investigator to know that’s a seriously bad idea, which is why a Milwaukee car accident lawyer will have no problem filing a lawsuit against someone who was demonstrably distracted when they caused a car accident. 

The takeaway from this is that using a cell phone is a terrible idea while you are driving. By all means use it as a GPS nav device, but at least turn notifications off so you don’t get distracted. 


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