A recent study from Direct Line found that one-third of all car accidents can be blamed on cell phone usage. Based on a survey of 2,000 drivers, 27 percent will check their phone when their car has stopped and, out of the 53 percent in an accident, 32 percent had been using a phone.

This study isn’t the first to highlight the dangers of using your cell phone behind the wheel. Just how much of a hazard is this practice? Consider the following points:

1. Making a Call is Four Times More Likely to Cause an Accident

Man texting while drivingAccording to a PBS interview, drivers who make a call behind the wheel – on a cell phone or with a hands-free device – are four times as likely to get into an accident. Sending a text behind the wheel increases your accident risk even more! Further, if you’re a truck driver texting, you’re 23 times more likely to crash than a car driver not using a phone.

2. It’s Illegal, But Drivers Continue to Do It

Studies show that roughly 50 percent of teens text while driving. Additionally, teens are more likely to multi-task behind the wheel and drive distracted, making them eight times more likely than an alert driver to get into an accident.

A teen’s risk of getting into a crash increases seven times if they dial or reach for a cell phone – the risk quadruples if they text. Although smaller distractions, risks also exist when teens adjust the radio or eat behind the wheel.

Teens account for a greater percentage of traffic deaths than adults: The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that those under 20 total just six percent of all drivers, but account for 10 percent of fatal crashes and 14 percent of all injury-related police-reported crashes.

However, teens are not the only offenders. According to data from CellphoneSafety.org, about eight percent of adult drivers have admitted to using a cell phone behind the wheel.

3. Cell Phones Exacerbate Distracted Driving

In general, studies have found that distracted drivers aren’t able to process everything in front of them, can’t identify hazards, don’t effectively monitor their surroundings and may not even see half of the objects passing by.

A study from the University of Utah found that cell phone use greatly increases this phenomenon. In fact, drivers using a cell phone or hands-free device have delayed response times on par with drunk drivers. Furthermore, they’re more likely than other motorists to weave in and out of lanes or hit a guardrail.

Were you involved in a motor vehicle accident with a driver using a cell phone? No matter how important the call, it’s no excuse to cause long-term or permanent injuries and thousands of dollars in property damage. If you’ve found yourself a victim in this situation, turn to Trantolo & Trantolo’s car accident lawyers for guidance. To learn more, contact our team today.