Using cell phones while driving is distracted driving. It is a plague that threatens every driver (and passenger) on all roads in the U.S. today. In fact, overall, there was a 10%+ increase in distracted driving from 2018 to 2019. In a recent study by Zendrive, Inc., only four states achieved any decrease in phone use while driving. For those of us living and driving in Virginia, we have earned the distinction of achieving the largest increase in the number of people who use a cell phone while driving of any state in the nation.
Here are some facts that are important for you to know:
- It seems that while making cell phone use so addictive, facebook and others have led us to become so addicted that we cannot put the phone down when driving.
- Several companies have risen that offer various monitoring devices to identify drivers who are using phones while driving. Among them are FaceTime, Zendrive, Cambridge Mobile Telematics.
- These monitoring devices are being installed in vehicles by automotive manufacturers and by Auto Insurance Companies to track driver behavior.
- At least one in every five auto insurance policies now offers a discount if the customer consents to a monitor in their vehicle.
- Insurance companies and others believe that this kind of dangerous driving has made the most significant contribution to the 15% surge in Annual U.S. traffic fatalities between 2014 and 2016.
- Some monitoring companies contend that making people aware of their phone use while driving, using their monitor, is successful in reducing phone-related distracted driving by as much a 40%.
- To date, most insurance companies offer discounts for good cell-phone behavior. However, a growing number of these companies are beginning to use the data from these monitors to increase rates on policies written for serial hand-held users of phones.
- The Insurance Journal reports that “Distracted driving is more predictive of an eventual loss claim than virtually any other behavior, including speeding and braking. Those who tend to use cellphones at the wheel have 20% more insurance claims than others in the risk-pool.” [Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2019/04/29/524972.htm?print]
It has been noted that older drivers (65+) may be the safest drivers. Is this because of experience? Perhaps. However, it is more likely that they are better drivers because they are able to maintain focus on their driving because they have not been seduced by the always-on cell phone culture.
The impact of distracted driving is felt every day. Until our experts are able to identify an effective method of ending cell-phone related distracted driving, we must all remain alert both to the distracted driving of other motorists and to our own tendency to use a cell phone while driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto or vehicle accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation for your hurts and harms. Bettina Altizer and her team of experienced experts help people every day who have been injured by the wrongdoing or negligence of others. With their unique blend of compassion and aggressive representation, their clients have won fair and appropriate compensation for their injuries and losses. Call Altizer Law, P.C., when you need a trusted attorney who understands that it’s about the money.