Mobile Phone Car Accident: UK RTA solicitor explains why the law considers a driver at fault for road accidents caused by distraction from using a mobile phone, eating / drinking, radios and other in car entertainment
RTA solicitor explains why using a mobile phone whilst in control of a motor vehicle is a driving offence; other driver distractions such as a satellite navigation system, car radio / cd system, TV, DVD, personal computer, eating and drinking; how much compensation you can claim for common mobile phone car accident injuries and how to claim if you are an injured motorist, passenger or pedestrian.
If you are driving a car or other vehicle whilst using a mobile phone and you cause a car accident is it an offence?
“Yes” – when you are in control of a car or other motor vehicle, it is an offence to use a handheld mobile phone – whether you are making a call, texting or even using that phones microphone on speaker phone.
A mobile phone can only be used safely if it is connected to the radio system by Bluetooth or to another suitable hands free device using a fixed external microphone and external speakers. Even if the phone is held in a cradle – it is an offence to use the mobile phone’s microphone even if it is not physically being held by the driver.
If a hands free device is being used whilst driving your car and as a result you are distracted – you might still commit the offence of dangerous or careless driving as set out in section 2 and 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The Highway Code suggests it is best not to use a phone in the car and if one must be used it should be used hands free.
If a mobile phone car accident results from your distraction you will be liable for any third party injury claims.
To use a mobile phone without a suitable hands free device you should stop at the side of the road or other safe spot and turn off the car engine.
What other distractions in your car other than mobile phone can cause a car accident claim?
The Road Traffic Act demands that a when you are in control of a motor vehicle you should avoid distractions from concentration. You might be surprised to learn that this not only includes in car technology, but also simple things such as eating, drinking and even arguing with passengers. the Highway Code sets out a list of examples, which include:
1. Loud music
Radios, CD’s and now even TV’s & DVD’s when played too loud can cause distraction and reduce the your ability to react to dangers on the road. Other sounds can be drowned out like another driver sounding a horn, the siren of an emergency vehicle or any form of external background noise which is essential to observe to warn of pending danger and road conditions.
2. Reading maps
If you are in an unfamiliar part of the country, such as a city centre and you are trying to navigate using a map whilst you are driving – you can be distracted from what is happening on the road. It is best to stop in a safe place to refer to a map than to attempt to read the map whist driving.
3. Eating & Drinking
Many drivers will have a drink or snack in their car for the journey – finding, opening, eating or drinking whilst driving can cause distraction for a split second, which might be long enough to cause a car accident and lead to a compensation claim being made against you.
Smoking in your car can cause distraction. It is also prohibited in England and Wales to smoke in a works vehicle or public transport vehicle.
5. Inserting a cassette or CD or tuning a radio
Most drivers like to have some music playing in the car or to listen to the radio. Whilst generally these types of entertainment do not cause distraction – controlling the radio or CD system can. Many rear end shunts occur from a simple distractions such as these.
6. Arguments with passengers or other road users
Having an argument with a passenger in your car or alternatively outside of the car – whether another car driver or a pedestrian can cause an extreme loss of concentration and can cause car accidents and pedestrian injury.
7. Multi media in car devices
Multi-media devices can cause you to be distracted and so not have proper control of your vehicle, such devices include: pc’s, satellite navigation systems, congestion warning systems, TV’s, DVD’s.
Who can claim compensation for a mobile phone car accident claim?
The driver who is distracted and does not have proper control of his vehicle will be considered at fault for a car crash, especially if the driver is prosecuted for careless or dangerous driving.
The third parties who can claim – include other motorists involved in the collision (including drivers and passengers); passengers in the driver’s vehicle who caused the accident; pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.
How much compensation can be claimed for common mobile phone car accident claims?
The most common type of claim that can be made following a mobile phone car accident claim is for whiplash – which is primarily a soft tissue neck injury leading to stiffness and pain radiating from the neck, often into the shoulders with tingling in the fingers of the hands.
The lower back can be injured as well as seatbelt bruising, fractured limbs such as hands, feet, arms and legs.
To see the different types of injury you might suffer together with how much compensation you can claim click car accident compensation amounts.
How to claim compensation for a mobile phone car accident
Making a mobile phone car accident claim is relatively straightforward if you have the help of a specialist road traffic accident solicitor.
Click mobile phone car accident to arrange for a free call back from me in person or to commence your claim online with a specialist mobile phone car accident solicitor.