The rate of fatal car accidents over the last year does not coincide with the increased mileage Americans are putting in. Something else is causing these fatal collisions. Moreover, as safety features advance, serious injuries and fatalities from car collisions should actually decrease. Unfortunately, the problem likely lies with the nation’s driving behavior. The increased use of cell phones behind the wheel is causing unknown numbers of traumatic and fatal motor vehicle collisions, and the problem may only be growing worse.
Cell Phone Users Cause Millions of Crashes Every Year
Drivers who talk on the phone, text, send emails, browse the internet, or take pictures are killing thousands of people each year. According to the National Safety Council (NSC), more than a quarter (27 percent) of all motor vehicle collisions are caused by drivers using cell phones. To put that in numbers, 1.2 million crashes are caused by drivers who talk on hands and hands-free phones, while 341,000 crashes are caused by drivers who text, and those figures, of the latest large-scale study by the NSC, are from 2013. The roads have only gotten more dangerous in the past few years.
Texting is Banned in Arkansas
No driver of any age can legally text when they are driving, whether they are stopped at a stop light or driving down the freeway at 60 miles per hour. Texting and driving is a primary offense law, which means that law enforcement can pull over a texting driver for no other reason than that they were texting, and carries a $100 fine, according to the Arkansas State Police. If texting were a secondary offense, law enforcement would only be able to site and pull over that driver if they had violated a primary offense, such as speeding or swerving. Exemption to the texting law is when a driver can prove that they needed to text law enforcement.
Handheld Phones Banned for Drivers Under 20
While all driver under the age of 18 are banned from all cell phone use while driving, those aged 18 to 20 are only banned from handheld phones. This age group is legally allowed to talk on the phone via a hands-free device. All bus drivers, regardless of age, are also banned from any cell phone use.
We Are Here to Help
If you were injured by a driver who was distracted by their cell phone or other electronic device, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit because of their negligent behavior. Drivers are strictly held to their duty of care for one another, and when that duty of care is violated by a careless or reckless act, causing injury or death to another, they will be held accountable. Contact an experienced car accident attorney with the Bassett Law Firm today at 479-521-9996 to discuss your legal options today.