Is talking on a cell phone while driving less safe than talking to a passenger?

Distracted driving is a serious problem in the United States, causing nearly 400,000 accidents in 2015 alone, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Talking on a cell phone or smartphone while driving is one of the most common—and most hazardous—distracted driving behaviors. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at the University of Utah found that motorists who use handheld or hands-free mobile devices behind the wheel are just as impaired and dangerous as drunk drivers.

The University of Utah researchers found that motorists who talked on their cell phone while driving alone were just as impaired as those who drove with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 percent or higher. Motorists distracted by cell phones were more likely to drift in and out of their lane, miss their exit, and tailgate.

If having a conversation with someone on the other end of a cell phone call is dangerously distracting, surely having a conversation with a passenger is just as treacherous, right? Not according to the results of a 2008 University of Utah study. The results revealed that conversing with a passenger is less dangerous because the passenger knows to pause the conversation when traffic is difficult. A passenger can also serve as a second set of eyes, pointing out road or traffic hazards that the driver might not see.

Were You Injured in an Accident?

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident caused by a driver who was distracted by a cell phone conversation, you may have to live with the effects of that driver’s negligence for the rest of your life. However, that doesn’t mean that accident victims have no recourse. Indiana laws gives those who were injured in accidents the ability to file a personal injury civil lawsuit and pursue compensation from the at-fault party.

Let Randy Sevenish of Sevenish Law help you fight for the financial recovery you deserve. Contact Sevenish Law today to arrange for a free initial case consultation.