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When Crashes Involve Cell Phones

By Connecticut Personal Injury Attorney on July 6, 2017

Traffic accidents have always been a problem, since the initial car was rolled off the assembly line more than a hundred years ago. The first recorded fatality from a motor vehicle collision in the United States took place in 1899 when Henry Bliss was struck by a taxicab while disembarking from a New York City streetcar.

There are a host of dangers associated with driving on Connecticut roadways, including intoxication, bad road conditions, excessive speed, and driver fatigue. But a growing concern among safety experts is the phenomenon of driver distraction, especially as it pertains to cell phones.

Cell Phones: An Increasing Cause of Accidents

The National Safety Council has issued a whitepaper on motor vehicle crashes involving cell phones. The document highlights both the dangers of distracted driving and problems with accurately tracking such accidents. Based upon their research, the NSC has found a troubling pattern: in many cases, crash reports do not reflect a driver’s cell phone use even though cell phone involvement was apparent.

The NSC makes a case for the dangers associated with underreporting. They believe there is enough evidence to support their hypothesis that underreporting the use of mobile phones in crashes has led to a significant underestimation of how severe of a public safety threat distracted driving really is.

Of course, there is no easy solution to the problem of underreporting. Police and other accident investigators often depend on the drivers themselves to admit to cell phone use. Obviously, a driver would be reluctant to divulge such information. And it is impossible for drivers to be forthcoming if they themselves have been killed.

Connecticut and Cell Phone Violations

In the state of Connecticut, driving and using a handheld device such as a cell phone is against the law. However, the police may not thoroughly investigate cell phone involvement if they have evidence of another violation, such as reckless driving or intoxication, which is often easier to obtain. To definitely prove a connection between cell phone use and car accidents, it is often necessary to either have eyewitness testimony or to secure phone records and correlate any data usage with the exact moment of the crash, something that is not always possible.

For victims of distracted driving, this underreporting can have an adverse affect on their chances for winning a claim. Cell phone use during an accident can provide a basis for punitive damages in addition to the normal compensation a victim would be entitled to. At Naizby Law, we have the experience and resources to fully litigate your case and help you win what you deserve. Call our offices today at (203) 245-8500 to schedule a free consultation.

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