While drunk driving and speeding are two significant dangers, we’ve noticed more severe auto accidents related to cell phone use while on the road.
With technology at the edge of our fingertips, it’s easy to get distracted while driving. And while sending a quick text or changing the song on your phone might seem harmless, phones are posing a great danger to those on the road. Let’s explore these dangers and note some critical Utah statutes pertinent to these matters.
The Dangers of Cell Phone Use Behind the Wheel
If you’re using a cellphone while you are driving, you can put your life, your passengers’ lives, and the lives of others on the road at risk. While distracted, you may get into severe auto accidents or strike pedestrians and bicyclists due to a lack of attention to changes in the street.
Two common issues lead to car accident injury:
- Talking on the Phone While Driving – If you are talking on your phone while driving and not using a hands-free kit in your car, you are likely to become distracted while engaged in conversation. What’s more, holding your phone in place means that both of your hands are not on the wheel, which can be extremely dangerous.
- Texting While Driving – Texting while driving means diverting your eyes from the road and having at least one hand off of the wheel. As you can imagine, the dangers of texting while driving are much more significant than just talking on the phone while driving.
Why Distracted Driving Is So Deadly
When you text while driving, your eyes are off the road for seconds to read the screen. A few seconds of distraction is all it takes for an accident to occur. It might sound crazy, but if you text while driving on the freeway at the standard speed limit, you will cover the entire length of the football field while looking at your phone rather than the road. A lot can happen in that distance.
According to recent statistics, an average of 5,187 severe auto accidents in the state of Utah involved driver distraction of some form. One of the most common ways someone is distracted behind the wheel of a car is their phone.
Cell Phone and Driving Laws in Utah
The state of Utah has specific laws regarding cell phone use while you are behind the wheel.
- Talking on the Phone While Driving – In Utah, it is legal to talk on the phone while driving as long as you are using a hands-free system.
- Restrictions on Texting While Driving – Texting, browsing the internet, and other comparable activities that involve using your phone in hand are strictly prohibited.
Be Safe, Be Smart, Be Attentive
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. When driving, be sure to have both hands on the wheel. Never text while on the road. If you need to get directions or check a message, be sure to pull off the road into a safe location, such as a parking lot or curb, park your car, and then attend to your business as needed.
If possible, leave your phone in an area of your car where you cannot quickly grab it. For instance, many people find it beneficial to go their phone in a purse or backpack that is then left in the backseat of their car until they reach their destination.
Another idea is to set your phone to “do not disturb” until you reach your destination. By doing this, you won’t receive alerts on your phone, which may tempt you to use it.
Parents should enforce these rules with their children as they learn to drive. Common sense safety can save the lives of hundreds or even thousands of drivers each year.
Speak with Our Auto Accident Attorneys
Severe auto accidents can have consequences that last a lifetime. That’s why the lawyers of Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton fight so hard for injury victims throughout Provo and the state of Utah. Serious Auto accidents can lead to disability and death, and negligent parties who caused these tragedies need to be held accountable.
We have Provo, Orem, Saratoga Springs, and West Jordan offices. Contact us today for a free evaluation if you have been involved in a car accident or other serious personal injury case.