Cell phones may make our lives more convenient, but they are one of the primary causes of distracted driving. In fact, cell phones are so problematic, a 2017 study by scientists at Cambridge Mobile Telematics found that phone use was a factor in more than half of all crashes.
Although texting while driving is very dangerous, even the act of making a call or checking voicemail can cause a crash. When a driver’s eyes and mind aren’t focused on the road, the risk for a serious accident increases dramatically. Hands-free devices can help, but they often provide a false sense of safety that makes drivers take unnecessary risks.
What the Law Says About Driving While Using A Cell Phone
Under Louisiana law, it is legal to use a hand-held cell phone while driving if you are over the age of 18 and hold a valid driver’s license. Phone use for making calls is only against the law for people under age 18 and anyone with an intermediate license or learner’s permit.
Texting while driving is illegal, regardless of age or license status. Social media use was added to the ban on texting in 2013.
How to Stay Safe And Reduce Your Risk Of Being Distracted While Driving
To minimize the risk of distracted driving accidents related to cell phone use:
- Put your phone on airplane mode while driving to eliminate the urge to answer a call or send a text.
- If you need to make a call or text, pull over to do so.
- If you see a driver who is using his phone, maintain a safe following distance. If possible, pull over and let him pass you.
What to Do After A Louisiana Car Accident
Of course, accidents can occur despite your best efforts to avoid distracted drivers. After a car accident, your first priority should always be getting the medical care you need. However, if you are able to do so, getting photos of the accident scene and contact information from witnesses can help support your claim that cell phone use contributed to the crash. Writing down your account of the incident while it’s still fresh in your mind is also a smart move.
Have You Been Injured In A Louisiana Car Accident?
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Alexandria office directly at 318.541.8188 to schedule your free consultation.