Cellphones Causing Car Accidents
Some people cannot live without their cellphones. They feel out of place if they leave their cellphones at home, or are unable to text while at work. Once they get on the wheel, they cannot resist the urge to respond to a call or text message. Text messaging while driving is prohibited in almost every state, but it is still a cause for concern while driving all around in every state. Drivers are still constantly texting with disregard for their safety, and that of others.
If caught texting while driving and creating a car accident because of it, this act can lead to fines and penalties, as well as a lawsuit from the other party who was a victim of the negligent drivers cellphone use. Below will be described the liability when someone texting is the cause of an accident, along with the laws of cell phone use in some states.
Responsibility Falls on the Driver Using Their Cellphone
The careless driving of the person in question has to be manifested by the plaintiff who is claiming that their negligence caused the accident. The use of cellphones has been a subject that has been brought up in many cases that show how the driver was negligent because they had used a cellphone right before the crash happened., as well as the one claiming this negligence was also a part in the accident for having been on their cellphones as well. These are some moments where careless driving comes about while using a cellphone:
- Using only one hand to drive
- Drivers eyes not being focused on the road, but instead on the cellphone for making a call, a text, or reaching for it
- Distractions by their phones (watching videos, logging onto Facebook, even checking bank account)
- Having a conversation over the phone making the driver emotionally aggravated, which can cause them not to think properly and completely disregard everything
Laws on Cellphone Use While Driving
There are currently a total of 46 states that prohibit text messaging while driving. From those 46 states, five of them do not have primary enforcement. 14 states prohibit any hand-held cellphone to be used at all while driving, if found using a hand-held phone for whatever reason, the driver can be cited. The complete banning of cellphones for every driver is not active in any state as of today, but the complete ban for novice drivers is present in 38 states, and banned for school drivers in 20 states. These are the laws on cellphone use while driving for Florida:
- Hand-held is not banned
- Notice drivers are not banned from use
- School drivers are not banned from use
- Only thing banned for every driver is texting
Business Done On a Cellphone
If an employee is doing work on their cellphones, or received a call or text message related to their work, then the employer might be liable for the resulting accident. When this happens, the victim will opt-in suing the employer, not the actual driver because the driver’s employer will most certainly have more money. Having more money means more possibility that the claim will be paid with no dispute.
Most companies are now prohibiting any of their employees to use a cellphone during their working hours, or with anything related to work.
Cellphone Use by Kids: Are the Parents Liable?
There has been much debate on this issue. People have argued that the parents who allowed their minor children to use a cellphone, should be the one’s paying if the minor gets into an accident because of their cellphone use. There has not been a law yet to decide about this problem, and whether it should be enforced or not.
Cellphone Use and the Correlation with Insurance Companies
Once an insurance company has taken note that one of their insurers got into an accident or received a ticket due to cellphone usage, then the insurance rates will go up exponentially. The risks of using a cellphone while driving have been placed on many insurances websites warning them of the dangers. Not getting into an accident is a way in which to avoid a rise in insurance cost, and avoid getting injured or potentially taking a life.
This blog post was authored by the Percy Martinez Law Firm