Drivers in South Carolina and across the U.S. aren’t talking on their cellphones as much as they used to, according to a recent study. On the other hand, the research found that drivers are increasingly using their phones to text, send emails and browse the internet while behind the wheel.
The study, which was published by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, observed the habits of drivers who were moving through or stopped at specific intersections in four Virginia towns. It found that drivers were 57% more likely to be witnessed holding or fiddling with their phones in 2018 than they were in 2014.
While the study didn’t find direct proof that overall distracted driving incidents increased, the researchers estimated that cellphone distractions caused an additional 800 U.S. crash fatalities in 2017. They based that calculation on recent research that shows handling a cellphone while driving increases the risk of a fatal accident by around 66%. The authors of the study also said that distracted driving accidents are likely underreported. This is because there isn’t a consistent nationwide system for gathering information on distracted driving crashes.
When distracted drivers cause car accidents, injured victims have the right to pursue justice in civil court. An attorney might help a crash victim collect police reports and other evidence proving that the other driver’s cellphone use contributed to the collision. This information may then be used as the basis for a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages. That type of complaint might lead to a settlement that pays the victim’s medical bills, physical therapy expenses, mental anguish, pain and suffering, property loss and other similar damages. Victims may have their case assessed by scheduling a consultation with an attorney.