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Seeing the Billion

Use of Cell Phone while Driving: Still the Highest Cause of Preventable Accidents

Texting while driving accounts for the highest number of car crashes among the many types of driver error or distracted driving. Due to the danger it puts a driver, other motorists and pedestrians on the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) passed a law that illegalizes this irresponsible behavior behind the wheel. Though different from being intoxicated due to liquor or drugs, texting and using handheld phones, likewise, impair a driver, as these also take away a driver’s concentration and lessen his/her capability to make timely reactions in the event of an emergency.

A study conducted by the National Safety Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-governmental group devoted to protecting the life and health of the American people, revealed that car accidents, due to cell phone use, is highest among young drivers, but so are drunk-driving and reckless driving. The same study also showed that while majority of young drivers say that no driver should text while operating a vehicle, they, themselves, are guilty of committing this very irresponsible act. What is more alarming, however, is their belief that they are texting only when it was safe, like at stop lights, and that they have full control of the vehicle, anyway.

Using a handheld phone to text, make or answer a call, makes a driver take his/her hand off the wheel and his/her eyes off the road. In driving, there is no “too short a time” when attention is diverted to something else, for even a couple of ticks on the watch can already be too long, long enough to cause an accident which, in turn can result to severe injuries or even death.

The government does not ban texting and using handheld phones altogether, but if a driver really needs to text or call someone, then he/she is advised to drive and stop his/her vehicle at a safe spot first and then he/she can text or make a call. In this event, accidents can be prevented and everyone guaranteed safe. Accidents are unexpected events, of course, but these are mainly due to recklessness and/or negligence; thus, these can easily be prevented if only drivers will decide to follow the traffic rules which they were asked to learn by heart when they were still trying to learn how to drive.

According to the Benton Law Firm, “While the majority of car accidents result in minor to no injuries, there are still far too many accidents that claim lives and cause serious injuries to thousands of victims each year. A car accident lawyer understands the devastating effects of car accidents. Though no amount of compensation can truly eliminate the physical and emotional pain caused by a car accident, it can help relieve a large amount of stress during your recovery.”

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