At GC Law we handle personal injury compensation claims for many car accident victims, and looking over our recent case files a number of relevant statistics stand out. The number of car accidents caused by either mobile phone usage, either texting or talking on a mobile phone whilst driving, or social networking long into the night have been a major factor in a majority of these accidents.
The Ways in Which Mobile Phones Cause Accidents:
Some of these facts include young drivers with an addiction to electronic socialising, who are increasingly at risk of being injured in a car accident caused by driver fatigue.
There is an increasing number of teenagers who have been involved in car accidents because they’re so tired from staying up all night using their electronic devices.
According to authorities, people under the age of 30 account for nearly two thirds of accidents involving sleepy drivers.
The car accidents are most likely to occur early in the morning or late at night. There is usually only one person in the car, and often only one car is involved.
Distraction from Mobile Phone Use
Distraction has also been identified as a contributing factor in 22% of car crashes and near crashes and 71% of truck crashes (and 46% of near crashes) in naturalistic driving studies.
Using a mobile phone whilst driving is highly distracting and increases your risk of a crash four-fold.
Despite the dangers and illegality, approximately 25% of recently surveyed Queensland drivers reported using their hand-held mobile phone on a daily basis to answer or make calls, as well as read text messages, while 14% reported using their hand-held phone to send a text message on a daily basis.
The Facts About Phone Use & Car Accidents
Driver distraction is one of the main causes of road crashes, estimated to account for approximately one quarter of car crashes.
Using a mobile phone while driving (especially texting), is highly distracting. The unfortunate truth about moving at high speeds in a car is that when you look away even for a split second, you will have travelled a significant distance without having any eyes on the road ahead.
A person using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving is four times more likely to have a serious crash resulting in hospital attendance.
Phone Use in the Car & the Law
It is illegal in all Australian states and territories to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving. This includes talking, texting, playing games, taking photos or video and using other phone functions. More specifically, touching your phone at all is illegal while you are in the drivers seat of a car that is in use.
Using a hand-held mobile phone is also illegal when your vehicle is stationary but not parked (when stopped at a traffic light).
Using a Hands-Free Phone While Driving
It is illegal to use a hands-free phone while driving if it causes you to lose proper control of your vehicle.
Learner and P1 drivers are not permitted to use a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving. This means that if you are found using your phone at all while on a provisional licence, you’ll face fines and loss of points.
If you want to be able to make use of your phone while driving, you can use your hands-free functionality to do some very basic functions. To ensure you are safe while doing so, you must be parked and stationary. A good rule of thumb is that you cannot touch your phone at all once driving, so holders of an open licence can use hands-free functionality if it does not require any handheld use of the phone.
The most common types of crashes associated with mobile phone usage are “run off the road” and “rear end” crashes.
If you or any member of your family or friends is involved in a car accident it is important to be fully aware of your rights and what compensation for personal injury you may be able to claim.
At GC Law we are personal injury experts and can help you assess your potential claim, you can even use our Free Case Review process to start your compensation claim.
For more information on car accident claims call us to speak to one of our lawyers on 1 300 302 388 or start a live chat session and talk with a GC Law lawyer today.
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