Is Hands Free Always Accident Free?
With growing concern over the dangers of distracted driving, more hands-free technology has become available to allow people to talk or text without fear of having an accident. But exactly how distracted are we when talking on the phone?
In July 2013, a North Kansas City, Missouri, teenager was sentenced to three and a half years in prison for causing a fatal crash that killed a 72-year-old Camden Point resident in September 2011. Police say Rachel N. Gannon, then 17, was listening to loud music, looking at her phone and texting when she lost control and slammed into the car Loretta Larimer was driving. Gannon was also charged with violating Missouri's law which bans drivers under 21 from texting while operating a motor vehicle.
These distractions, particularly texting, are still a factor in serious vehicle crashes. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that 11 percent of drivers under 20 are involved in distracted driving-related crashes. This age group has the "largest proportion" of distracted motorists, according to the NHTSA. Studies have shown that using hands-free devices reduce the risk of accidents caused by distractions.
Because of the violation of these laws, those who have been injured in accidents have turned to personal injury attorneys for help, such as Missouri's Cofman Townsley. According to their website, "An insurance adjuster may contact you soon after your accident. It’s important that you don’t speak with the insurance company or sign any settlement offers. If you do, you...