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Phone use behind the wheel, and the laws against it

| Mar 25, 2020 | Personal Injury |

While it’s far from the only distraction that can assail drivers, phones are among the most widespread. The federal government estimates that nearly 10% of drivers use a handheld or hands-free phone at one point or another each day. Indiana residents probably know that phone use is linked to a significant number of car crashes.

In particular, studies have said that texting or manipulating a phone in another way can increase crash risk. Studies have shown that talking on a phone does the same thing, though some researchers disagree. Drivers who use their phones tend to engage in riskier activities. One observational study, for instance, found that these drivers will speed, brake harder and change lanes more often than drivers who rarely use their phones.

Forty-eight states have passed a total ban on texting while driving. Missouri only bans texting among drivers 21 and younger while Montana has no ban at all. Indiana is one of 23 states with a total ban on handheld phone conversation. It is also one of 38 states to ban all phone use among the young: in this case, drivers 21 and younger. Even hands-free phones pose a cognitive distraction, though. With that comes a delay in reaction times, more frequent drifting from one’s lane and more time spent with one’s eyes off the road.

Those who are injured by a distracted driver may want to see a lawyer about whether or not they can file a claim. The chief difficulty will most likely be proving the other’s negligence, but if that person was using a phone, then the phone records could do a lot to facilitate the process. Victims may want to meet with an attorney to learn more about their situation.