2014 marks the six-year anniversary of California banning the use of cell phones in automobiles. Although the law has been successful in triggering 13 other states to adopt the same type of measure, many people are still debating the whether the prohibition of cell phone use in cars for drivers has been as effective in reducing accident numbers as California had hoped.
There is no arguing that the use of cell phones in automobiles is dangerous. A study conducted in 1997 discovered that the chance of a driver being in a road accident quadruples when a cell phone is in use. California even commissioned its own study through the University of California Berkeley in 2002, which drew the conclusion that deaths due to cell phones use by drivers had been reduced by nearly half in the two years after the ban.
On the other hand, many claim that the reductions have not been as great as hoped when the law was passed. Researchers from the University of Colorado used traffic data from 2008 from nine Californian traffic districts concerning different accident conditions. After adjusting for factors such as severe weather, they concluded that the number of people killed by handheld phone use had not really changed after the ban was introduced.
Daniel Kaffiene, an associate professor at the University of Colorado, proposed the idea that “people who continued to use their cell phones were the people who were most likely to get into accidents anyway“. Basically, his theory states that riskier drivers do not care whether they use their phones or not because they do not believe they are likely to crash or they do not think about the possibility of an accident. Kaffiene then goes on to say “maybe cell phones aren’t as risky as we thought.” This is a controversial statement in light of the mass of research stating that cell phones are dangerous. Several other researchers claimed that on year of data was “insufficient” to come to a reliable conclusion either way.
Until a way is devised to prevent dangerous cell phone usage altogether, people will likely continue to get into accidents. If you are the victim of an automobile accident, you may need experienced car accident attorneys to help you recover damages.
At the Gilleon Law Firm, APC in San Diego, our attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience in dealing with personal injury cases, so you know you can benefit from our experience when we fight for the best outcome possible. Call now for a free consultation or visit us at our San Diego office.