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Is cellphone usage underreported in vehicle crashes?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | Personal Injury

Distracted driving has reached an alarming rate in Mississippi in the past decade, with cellphone usage being among the primary reasons why traffic accidents occur. However, some researchers believe that cellphone usage as a cause has been underreported in recent years.

Statistics don’t capture all cellphone-related collisions

Despite the prevalence of cell phones in providing many different statistics, they don’t always provide information that these devices directly contributed to motor vehicle accidents. When coupled with drivers’ unwillingness to admit that they were using their cellphones at the time of accidents because of local laws prohibiting handheld usage while behind the wheel, cellphone usage as a significant factor in crashes is seriously underreported.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration notes that in 2021, the last year for which statistics are available, only 377 fatal accidents involved a distracted driver using a cellphone. Motor vehicle accidents involving fatalities increased 16% from 2020 to 2021, with more than 43,000 deaths occurring. About 8% of the 2.5 million non-fatal crashes in 2021 involved drivers distracted by their cellphones. However, those statistics only involve police reports that specifically indicate cellphone usage. Police reports require the driver to admit the usage, a witness to identify it or evaluating cellphone records or phone forensics to determine if the driver was distracted.

Eyewitness testimony is crucial in cellphone accident cases

Even if the police report doesn’t list a cell phone as a contributing cause for an accident, eyewitness testimony in court that confirms the driver was distracted can be crucial in a case involving accident injuries. Therefore, accident victims should try to gather as much evidence as possible, either by themselves or with the help of family members, to gather witness information, photos or video of the crash scene, and similar evidence.

If you sustained extensive injuries in an accident, even if a cellphone wasn’t involved, you may be able to file a claim against the driver who caused the mishap. Successful lawsuits against a negligent diver can help pay for medical and living expenses while you recuperate, along with pain and suffering.