Owning a cellphone is as common as owning a motor vehicle. Unfortunately, this often means that motorists will have a cellphone with them while they are driving. With distracted driving a major issue, cellphone use while driving remains a highlighted concern on roadways in Michigan and other states across the nation. When a driver is not attentive, doesn’t have their eyes on the road and their hands are not on the wheel, this increases the chances of a serious and even fatal automobile crash.

How bad is distracted driving in Michigan?

With the rise of cellphone ownership and use over the past two decades, the concerns cellphones have on the roadways have only increased. Using a phone while driving can increase the chances of being involved in a crash because it increases a driver’s reaction time and diverts a driver’s attention away from the primary task of driving.

Researchers in the state conducted a study that focused on the past decade and the number of citations in the state related to texting and driving. For example, in 2010 there were 409 citations while 2019 had 6,527 citations. The study found that drivers between the ages of 16 and 29 were significantly more likely to talk on their phone or text while driving when compared to older drivers.

Findings in the study

The study had four key points that were highlighted. First, researchers found that female drivers used their phone more often than males when it came to talking, texting or doing related tasks on their cellphone. The second take away was that nonwhite drivers were more likely to use their phones when compared to white drivers. Third, researchers found that drivers of trucks, SUVs and vans were more likely to talk on their phone while driving when compared to motorists of passenger vehicles.

The final finding in this study was that the rate of texting while driving was higher in more affluent areas.

A distracted driver is as dangerous as a drunk driver. When a crash occurs, those involved should take the time to fully understand the cause, as it is possible to take legal action against the negligent driver at fault. Not only can a personal injury claim hold the drive at fault accountable, it can help the injured victim seek compensation for the losses related to the injuries suffered, the medical treatment received, wages lost, pain suffered and other damages.