Cell Phone Use and Car Accidents in College Park

In College Park, Maryland all drivers are prohibited from using handheld cellphones. Drivers with learner’s permits, intermediate, or provisional licenses or are younger than eighteen, are prohibited from using handheld or hands free cellphones while driving.

The use of phones, texting, and the like is a regular focus of investigations by insurance companies and attorneys representing injured parties. It is a matter of course in investigating the circumstances surrounding the occurrence of an accident.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident due to someone’s negligence or lack of attentiveness while driving, contact a College Park car accident attorney for a free consultation regarding your case today.

Legal Cell Phone Use

When driving, people must be very careful that they are not distracted to the point of being inattentive to their driving and cause accidents. A balance has been struck in the law by not prohibiting all use of phones, but limiting their use to hands free to attempt to lessen the distraction of the use of a cellphone. The options for talking on cellphones while driving include:

  • Speaker phone
  • Bluetooth wireless device
  • A wired headset
  • Installing a vehicle kit for cell phone use through the car’s speakers
  • Not using it at all

Sometimes, there is an option through the navigation equipment of the car that cuts off the radio if it’s playing, and is a more expensive proposition than other alternatives. All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving under any circumstances.

Increased Number of Accidents

Cellphones have led to more distracted and dangerous driving. That is why handheld devices are prohibited and why texting is prohibited in College Park. A good percentage of accidents are caused by inattentive driving. Often inattentiveness arises even when a person is operating a hands free device and is distracted because of the conversation. Operating a cell phone, even a hands free option, leads to time spent looking down at the device to dial or use a button, which can move attention away from the roadway.

In this day and age, the popularity of cellphones and social media as well as people’s desire to stay connected, has resulted in the number of accidents caused by distracted and inattentive to rise. This is largely due to the inappropriate use of devices and the increase of associated inattentiveness has increased. Establishing the use of a cellphone being used inappropriately, improperly, and causing inattentiveness is a very strong basis to prove liability in a case.

Often during the course of a normal accident investigation the cellphone number of the at fault party is obtained so that their phone records can be reviewed. This can be used to possibly establish liability in the case that the driver was improperly using a cellphone, or were texting at the time of the accident and therefore inattentive to their driving.

What to Expect In Court

People sitting on a jury may consider cell phone use very offensive, which can impact the award of damages in a case, because they believe the accident could have easily been avoided by not using a cellphone. Violation of the law and these guidelines surrounding cell phones is seen as a needless cause of an accident, when it is so easily avoided. This will often be to the benefit of the injured because it often affects the outcome of these cases in terms of how people, specifically the jurors, will view the violators.

An experienced accident attorney in College Park will be able to pursue the at-fault driver’s liability and work with their client to build the strongest possible case.