It doesn’t matter if you hold the cell phone in your hand and talk while driving, or have hands-free access to talk all you want; both ways may cost you your life.
No matter which way you add it up, yakking on a cell phone held in your hand or one that happens to be hands-free still amounts to a deadly distraction. All it takes is one split second of not paying attention to your driving and you could wind up in a very nasty accident.
Consider the case of young John Stenner, on his way home from picking up a car with his tow truck. He had hands-free cell phone access in his truck. While talking on the phone to his base office about his next pickup, he was too distracted to see the semi heading his way and coming through the intersection. John died at the scene of the accident.
Just how easy is it for an unfocused driver to rear end another vehicle? All too easy is the answer. Getting sidetracked by having phone conversations in a vehicle is so simple it’s genuinely deadly. To put it plainly, there is no way a person can pay the proper attention to driving and also pay attention to what someone is saying on the phone.
Ditto goes for those who text while driving, enter phone numbers into a Blackberry, or surf the web on an iPhone. All of these “diversions” have the potential to kill you. Now the irony is that hands-free systems were supposed to make things safer, but do they? It seems the answer to that is no; they aren’t any safer than the phones you need to stare directly at and enter the numbers to call someone.
Pay attention to the data that Virginia Tech’s study gathered that showed in over 42,300 hours of driving about 2 million miles, researchers saw 82 crashes, 761 near misses, and 8,295 critical incidents. The causes of this mayhem? Texting and phone calling, hands-free or not. Virtually 80% of the collisions and 65% of the near misses were caused by the driver looking away from the road in front of them.
Surely hands-free phone calling allows drivers to look forward? Indeed it does, but talking on the phone is still considered to be a distraction, particularly if the phone call is discussing distressing news. Many of the newer systems coming out on the market hype the fact that if the driver is involved in an accident, the phone will call emergency services.
The point however is that one would rather “not” have an accident in the first place caused by not paying attention to the road. Dying a sudden death because you were planning a party while driving and discussing a hot guy is hardly on the top of anyone’s “to do” list.
Be smart and be aware of what is going on around you in traffic all the time. If you are involved in a nasty collision, make it a point to discuss the case with a highly qualified personal injury attorney. The attorney will assist you in obtaining justice.
Tim Anderson works with Atlanta Personal Injury attorney, Stephen M. Ozcomert. The firm specializes in personal injury, malpractice, motorcycle accidents, and wrongful death. To learn more about Atlanta personal injury lawyer, Stephen M. Ozcomert, visit Ozcomert.com.