Many South Carolina motorists have seen other drivers distracted by a cellphone, and they maybe have even done so themselves. In an attempt to address the known hazards of this behavior, automobile manufacturers have increasingly added hands-free media and communications centers to vehicles.
Bans on cellphone usage while driving in some states prompted manufacturers to include the dashboard-mounted call centers, but the National Safety Council insists that they remain a source of dangerous distraction for drivers. The council believes that these units that connect cellphone calls and allow hands-free communication create a false sense of safety. One survey found that 53 percent of drivers considered the hands-free media centers to be safe because they were present in the vehicle.
Research shows that people underestimate the amount of distraction that a cellphone causes, even with a hands-free connection within the vehicle. People often assume that they are making a responsible choice by not using their mobile phone directly, but even a hands-free conversation causes significant distraction because it occupies the brain’s attention.
Even though precise figures remain hard to calculate, the council stated that thousands of people have died in crashes caused by drivers distracted by their telephone conversations. These car accidents can also leave people injured. A person hurt by a distracted driver might be able to make a successful claim that the other driver was at fault. An attorney could assist in examining the driver’s cellphone records and obtaining the testimony of eyewitnesses in order to establish that the other motorist was negligent at the time of the accident.