Cellphone use contributes to many distracted driving car accidents in California. While many drivers are aware of the dangers of using a cellphone while behind the wheel, they still practice this unsafe driving behavior and are putting themselves at a higher risk of being in a car accident.
Using a cellphone while driving is very dangerous but there are a few myths about distracted driving that make many drivers believe it is safe to use certain cellphone devices behind the wheel. One of the biggest myths is that using a hands-free cellphone device is safer than a handheld cellphone. However, many studies have shown that any cellphone use is dangerous behind the wheel.
The National Safety Council reported that drivers who use a handheld or hands-free cellphone while driving are four times more likely to be in a car accident. They also said that drivers who use cellphones are involved in roughly 21 percent of all car crashes in the U.S. every year.
The NSC reports that talking on a cellphone while driving increases the risk of being in a car accident because it requires the driver to multitask between two cognitive activities in the brain. Because driving and talking are both thinking tasks, a driver's brain has to switch between the two cognitive activities, putting them at risk behind the wheel because they are not able to focus on the road 100 percent of the time.
Studies have found that using a cellphone while driving distracts the driver's brain, and can affect the way a driver processes visual movements while driving. In fact, studies found that a driver's ability to process movement decreases by 37 percent when they are listening to language, such as talking or listening on a cellphone.
This is why using a cellphone behind the wheel is so dangerous and can lead to devastating car accidents in the U.S.
California law on hands-free devices depends on the age of the driver. If a driver is over 18, they are permitted to use Bluetooth or other in-ear devices, but are not allowed to use devices that cover both ears. These drivers are also allowed to use car speakerphone devices.
If a driver is under 18, they are not allowed to use any device while driving, hands-free or not. The one exception to this rule is when calling 911 in an emergency situation.
If you have been hit by a distracted driver and suffered injuries, you may have grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Contact our lawyers at Casper, Meadows, Schwartz & Cook today to discuss your accident and determine what compensation you may be eligible for.
Initial consultation is free of charge.
National Safety Council, "Hands-Free is Not Risk-Free," 2019
PubMed.gov "Is a hands-free phone safer than a handheld phone?," Yoko Ishigami, Raymond M Klein, Apr 9, 2009
PubMed.gov "Does Talking on a Cell Phone, With a Passenger, or Dialing Affect Driving Performance? An Updated Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Experimental Studies," Jeff K Caird, Sarah M Simmons, Katelyn Wiley, Kate A Johnston, William J Horrey, Feb 2018