First Steps
Take Notes
Preserve Evidence and Take Photos
Police Reports
After a Car Accident
Contact a Lawyer
Accident & Injury Law
Personal Injury Law - The Basics
Proving Fault
Economic Recovery for Injuries
Time Limits for Bringing a Case
Claims Against the Government
Law in your states
A through D
F through I
K through M
N through O
P through T
U through W
Cellular Phone Use and Auto Accidents


The use of cellular phones while driving is increasingly controvercial, as the use of cell phones has been blamed for a number of serious accidents. Proponents of cellular phone use contend that there is no evidence that the use of a cellular phone is any more dangerous while driving than other common activities, such as eating, having a live conversation, or using a CD player. Opponents contend that drivers are unduly distracted by their cellular conversations, and at a minimum should use a hands-free phone.

Distraction of Drivers

Drivers who are using cellular phones may become distracted by factors including the act of dialing, the conversation they are having, or the presence of the cellular phone in their hand while they attempt to turn corners or engage in sudden driving maneuvers. As anybody can tell you after driving on a highway frequented by large numbers of cell phone users, there is no question but that some drivers become very distracted while using the phones, with their distraction manifested by such driving errors as weaving or failure to maintain a consistent speed. There have been numerous cases where a driver, talking on a cellular phone, drove directly into the back of a stopped vehicle.

Is "Hands-Free" Safer?

It seems so intuitive that a hands-free phone would be safer for drivers than a hand-held phone, that some states have forbidden the use of celluler phones while driving unless the driver employs a hands-free device. However, there is scant evidence to suggest that hands-free phones are actually safer; drivers have similar numbers of accidents while using either type of cell phone.

Responsibility of Employers

Following some accidents during which employees were making work-related cellular phone calls while driving, some of the people injured in the accidents brought claims agains the employer. In some cases, they were able to demonstrate that the employee was required to make phone calls while driving, and attempted to hold the employer vicariously responsible for the injuries caused in the accident. Many employers have responded by changing their policies, such that employees are instructed not to make work-related phone calls while driving, or even forbidding the use of cellular phones while the employee is engaged in work-related driving.