Anytime a driver is distracted while driving, the possibility of having an accident is increased. For many Louisiana drivers, using a cell phone while driving has become normal. Unfortunately, many car accidents may be caused by drivers being distracted while using their phones. Just how many accidents are caused by cell phone use is difficult to determine.
The National Safety Council tried to gather data on how many accidents involved the use of cell phones, but found that the law enforcement agencies weren’t consistently reporting this type of data. As an example, a 17-year-old girl that was killed in a car accident was on her cell phone telling the person on the other end that she was about to crash. However, the police report didn’t include the fact that she was on the phone or that cell phone use may have been a contributing factor to the crash.
Many states have banned cell phone use by what have been dubbed as “novice drivers.” These drivers are usually under a certain age and are not experienced drivers. Some people believe that this is not enough. They believe that experienced drivers should also be banned from using their cell phones for any purpose while driving unless there is an emergency. Unfortunately, if a driver doesn’t confess to using a cell phone or is not caught in the act, it is difficult to prove that the use of a cell phone was a contributor to a collision.
It is possible that more accurate data could help Louisiana drivers understand just how distracting and dangerous using a cell phone while driving can be. It may be years before agencies such as the National Safety Council are able to provide the public with adequate data to get this point across. In the meantime, there may need to be some changes made in order to help law enforcement agencies capture this data on a more consistent basis. Further, civil suits resulting from car accidents may use cell phone usage as way to prove a driver’s negligence.