Boynton Beach Texting and Driving/Car Accidents Related to Cell Phones

Texting While Driving
Photo by cwazniak / CC BY

Every Boynton Beach resident knows that cell phones have changed our lives. We are always just a phone call - or a text - away, and that includes when we are driving. With in-car Wi-Fi, we can also stream videos, watch our favorite sporting event, check emails, and even shop while we are in our cars.

Of course, this functionality has a significant downside. There are an increasing number of accidents involving distracted drivers who are using cell phones. Even hands-free texting or calling can distract the driver and increase the chance of an accident.

Frankl & Kominsky are experienced car accident attorneys who have represented numerous individuals or the families of individuals involved in distracted driving accidents.

Cell Phones and Driving

Cell phones are now an integral way of life for those in Boynton Beach and around the country. According to the Consumer Electronics Associations, the number of cell phones in the United States now exceeds the US population.

A 2016 study by the Pew Research Center shows the wide range of activities users conduct with their smart phones. Nine-in-ten smartphone owners use their phones for location-based information. In other words, they use them for driving directions, recommendations or other information related to their location. That means drivers are actively interacting with their cell phone while they are driving.

Other prevalent activities, according to Pew, include watching movies or television, listening to music, checking sports scores, or checking stock prices.

Of course, calling and texting remain important activities for cell phone owners. Pew reports these activities, as well as video chats or video calls, have increased by double digits since 2015. In the last year alone, text messages have increased 16 percent, with 1.138 trillion text message sent in 2016 alone.

And for many cell phone owners, these activities continue when they get behind the wheel of a car.

The Danger of Using a Cell Phone While Driving

Cell phone users who drive are often distracted from the primary task at hand, driving safely. The National Safety Council reports that drivers using cell phones lead to 1.6 million car accidents every year. The most often discussed danger of cell phone use while driving is texting while driving. Approximately 330,000 injuries occur each year from accidents caused by texting while driving. Additionally, one out of every four car accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.

But texting is not the only dangerous activity using cell phones when driving. Talking on a cell phone can be distracting, with the driver focusing on the conversation rather than the road. Many drivers look at the cell phone screen when following directions, or they reach down to adjust volume, skip songs on online radio, or "glance" to see what is flashing across the screen.

Even hands free cell phone devices can cause distraction and lead to accidents. According to a study by the National Safety Council:

Vision is the most important sense for safe driving. Yet, drivers using hands-free phones (and those using handheld phones) have a tendency to “look at” but not “see” objects. Estimates indicate that drivers using cell phones look but fail to see up to 50 percent of the information in their driving environment. Distracted drivers experience what researchers call inattention blindness, similar to that of tunnel vision. Drivers are looking out the windshield, but they do not process everything in the roadway environment that they must know to effectively monitor their surroundings, seek and identify potential hazards, and respond to unexpected situations.

In other words, literally any cell phone use by a Boynton Beach driver can prove distracting and increase the chances of an accident.

Legal Help After an Accident

Proving that a driver was distracted or using a cell phone can be difficult, as most drivers under-report cell phone use while driving. This can make an already complex case even more difficult, and requires the assistance of an experienced accident attorney. The Frankl & Kominsky legal teams are highly adept at representing clients in cell phone cases, and will fight tenaciously for the rights of those clients. Frankl & Kominsky know that car accidents can result in more than immediate medical bills. Victims can face long-term medical costs, prescription and physical therapy costs, pain and suffering, and lost wages. If you or a loved one in Boynton Beach or other South Florida locations have suffered from a driver who was distracted because of cell phone use, we can help. Call us today at (855) 800-8000 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. We are fluent in Spanish and Creole.

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