Boston Cell Phone Car Accident Attorneys
Distracted driving has become a leading cause of serious and fatal car accidents in the United States. According to the National Safety Council, motorists who use cell phones while behind the wheel cause 1.6 million crashes a year.
Massachusetts has a hands-free driving law, which prohibits drivers from using cell phones and other electronic devices unless the devices are in "hands-free mode." However, Massachusetts drivers still use their cell phones to make calls and texts while driving, even when navigating heavy traffic at rush hour or traveling on busy highways such as I-95 and I-495. As many as 80% of cell phone owners reportedly use their phones while driving.
For 30 years, the Boston car accident attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers have advocated for accident victims throughout Massachusetts. If you have sustained serious injuries in a car accident involving a driver using a cell phone, call us today to schedule a free, confidential, legal consultation.
Our attorneys will explain your legal rights and advise on the best course of action to recover full compensation for your injuries and damages. There are no upfront costs or fees, and you pay nothing until we win your case and recover money for you.A Look at Massachusetts' Hands-Free Cell Phone Law
Massachusetts law bars drivers from using cell phones or other electronic devices or technology unless they use the device in a hands-free mode such as Bluetooth. The law went into effect on Feb. 23, 2020.
Under the law, drivers cannot hold a cell phone or touch the phone except to activate the hands-free mode. They are not allowed to touch a cell phone to text, email, use apps, watch videos, or surf the Internet. Cell phones, GPS navigation systems, and other tech devices must be properly mounted to the vehicle's windshield, dashboard, or center console.
Penalties for violating the law range from a $100 fine to a $500 fine and mandatory completion of a distracted driving program.
Drivers can hold and use their cell phones if their vehicles are stationary and not located in a public travel lane or bicycle lane. However, cell phone use is not allowed at red lights or stop signs.
Drivers who are under 18 are not allowed to use any electronic devices. That means that teenage drivers cannot use a cell phone, even in hands-free mode.
You can read the state's Hands-Free Law here.Our Law Firm Can Help with a Cell Phone-Related Car Accident Case
You are stopped at a red light when a car rams into the back of your vehicle at high speed. Your head snaps back, your seatbelt locks, and your airbag deploys.
Witnesses at the scene say that the other driver was using a cell phone when the accident occurred. However, the driver denies using a phone.
Clients often ask how they can prove that someone was texting and driving. Our Boston car accident attorneys deal with this type of situation regularly. They can help you prove that a driver was texting and driving and that this negligent behavior caused or contributed to your accident.
An attorney can obtain the driver's cell phone records to prove that the driver was texting at the time of the accident. An attorney can also obtain access to the driver's social media accounts. The social media accounts may show a post to Facebook or Twitter when the accident occurred or incriminating remarks about the accident.
Other drivers and bystanders who saw the accident unfold may be able to provide crucial evidence proving the texting driver's negligence. Most times, the police officer at the scene will take witness statements. However, your attorney can also subpoena witnesses to testify about what they saw.
Depending on where the accident occurred, there may be video footage from a cell phone, security camera, or some other source showing how the accident happened. Video footage can be crucial evidence in proving a driver's cell phone use and responsibility for an accident. An attorney can seek access to this evidence.
In addition, an attorney can hire an accident reconstructionist to establish that the at-fault motorist was not paying attention to the road at the time of the crash. Often, distracted drivers do not brake or swerve to avoid a collision and leave behind either no skid marks or short, straight skid marks.
A thorough investigation of your accident can help get you the compensation you are entitled to. Your attorney will know what evidence is needed to prove your case. Accident victims should hire an attorney as soon as possible, while evidence is still available and the accident is fresh in your mind and the minds of any witnesses. The more time passes, the more likely people are to forget or distort memories. For these reasons, cell phone-involved car accident cases and other distracted driving cases can be time-sensitive.Some Statistics About Cell Phone Use and Car Accidents
There is no mistaking that using a cell phone while driving is a careless, negligent, and dangerous behavior that significantly increases your risk of an accident. While teen drivers are the most likely offenders, far too many adults are guilty of taking their eyes and minds off the road. No phone call or text is worth a life.
Government statistics show that more than one in ten motorists are on the phone at any given point in time. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 660,000 drivers are using their phones while operating a motor vehicle at any moment in the day.
While talking on a cell phone while driving is risky, texting is an extremely dangerous distraction. When drivers send or read a text, they take their eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. That may not sound like a long time, but when a driver travels at 55 miles per hour, that is like driving the full length of a football field with your eyes closed.
Typing text messages reduces a driver's ability to pay attention to the roadway, respond to important traffic events, and control a car inside a lane with respect to other vehicles. A texting driver may not see pedestrians or other less visible roadway users such as motorcycles and bicycles.
Delivery truck drivers, including UPS, FedEx, and Amazon drivers, are prone to distracted driving. They may turn their attention from the road to delivery apps or navigation systems as they travel their routes and drop off packages.
Here are some other statistics about driving and cell phone use:
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 3,142 people died in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Many of those accidents involved drivers talking or texting on cell phones while behind the wheel.
- Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute found that cell phone use while driving reduces the amount of a person's brain activity associated with driving by 37%.
- According to researchers at Virginia Tech, drivers who text are 20 times more likely to crash.
- Texting drivers have reaction times similar to a person who has consumed four beers in one hour.
As mentioned above, Massachusetts drivers under 18 are not allowed to use cell phones or other electronic devices while behind the wheel. A recent study by AAA showed that electronics use is the leading source of distraction for teen drivers.
Other distractions that inexperienced teenage drivers engage in include changing the radio station, talking to other people in the vehicle, eating, drinking, and even applying makeup while behind the wheel.
Some strategies that parents can use to help their teen drivers avoid distractions and stay safe include:
- Talking to your teenager about distracted driving and sharing statistics like those above about distracted driving.
- Modeling safe driving behavior. That means not using a cell phone (whether hands-free or not) when operating a motor vehicle or engaging in other types of distracted driving.
- Set passenger limits. Teen-driven vehicles with two or more peer passengers are more than three times likely to be in a fatal crash.
Teens should be encouraged to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted. In addition, they can sign pledges with their friends or family to never drive distracted.
Safe driving apps can help all drivers avoid distracted driving. These apps make your phone inaccessible while your vehicle is moving. Many offer rewards and insurance discounts as incentives.
If your family is dealing with a Massachusetts car accident involving a distracted driver, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers at (617) 777-7777 or fill out our online form.