Research around smartphone addiction paints a bleak picture. It is well-established that modern phone usage is problematic. Cell phone use is tied to problems like depression and anxiety. It’s also tied to distracted driving. As distracted driving causes a significant percentage of car accidents in Texas and nationwide, it stands to reason that cell phones and cars are a dangerous mix.
The Death Toll of Distraction
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, distracted driving caused around 20 percent of all the crashes in the state in 2021. While cell phones are not responsible for all distracted driving accidents, they obviously contribute to the problem. Hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries could be prevented if drivers would ignore their phones, physically and mentally, while behind the wheel.
Designed to Draw Your Attention
Breaking a cell phone addiction is no easy task. Most people don’t have a good sense of just how attached they are to their smartphones. One study found that 80 percent of cell phone users actually felt jealousy when someone else held their phone. We have an easier time letting a neighbor hold our babies than our phones. That’s one of many signs that our attachment to this technology has become unhealthy.
A huge part of the problem is that cell phones, or more accurately the apps we use on our phones, are designed to catch and hold our attention. Most phones are constantly alerting us to one thing or another. You have a new life in your favorite game. This news story is trending on Twitter. Someone mentioned you in your favorite social media app. There is always some reason to pick up your phone, even for a few moments, and tap or scroll your way through a few screens.
Texting Bans Are Not Enough
Texas, like most states, has a law against reading, writing or sending text messages while driving. That’s a good start. It’s impossible to drive safely and text at the same time. That said, there are countless other ways smartphones can take a driver’s attention away from where it needs to be.
If your cell phone is within reach, there’s a good chance it’s distracting you to some degree. It’s even possible to be distracted by a cell phone that’s turned off and out of your reach! If you get into the habit of taking strong action to eliminate cell phone use while you drive, you will eventually stop thinking about it. Remember, safe driving requires all of your attention.
Call an Attorney after a Distracted Driving Accident
Knowing which accidents involve a distracted driver and which don’t isn’t always obvious at first. Distracted driving can generally be proven with a careful, thorough approach. If you’ve been involved in a car accident, you should speak to an experienced Dallas attorney at Ted B. Lyon & Associates. Call 866-503-4864 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.