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Cellphones’ contributions to car crashes are underreported

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2024 | Car Accidents

Using a cell phone behind the wheel creates dangers for everyone on the road in Florida. Accidents could happen when someone is more engaged with their phone than paying attention to drivers and pedestrians. Data on cell phone-related collisions shows fatal car crashes are not uncommon. However, the data might actually underreport the extent of such collisions.

Cell phones and fatal car accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) maintains records of motor vehicle collisions. Data reveals that approximately 43,000 people died in fatal accidents in 2021. Cell phone use no doubt contributed to many of these deaths, but the numbers appear significantly underreported. Per the data, only 377 fatal crashes involved cell phone use. Such numbers seem inexplicably low.

An explanation exists for this. The number comes from police reports. Although cell phone use may lead to a crash, they do not enter official data if such details don’t appear in the report.

Distracted driving dangers

Using a cell phone while driving could make a crash unavoidable. Preventing motor vehicle accidents may require split-second reactions, which could prove impossible when a driver is texting. Talking on the phone or listening to voice messages could lead to the same problems, even when using hands-free systems.

Distracted driving takes other forms, possibly leading to the same dangerous results. Eating or conversing while driving might increase the chances of a crash.

Establishing a driver had used a cell phone or engaged in other distracting actions may establish negligence. Victims who suffer injuries because someone was negligent might file a civil lawsuit or an insurance claim. A settlement could lead to recovering financial losses.