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Smart Phones - The Good & The Bad When It Comes To Your Auto

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Smartphones are a fact of life in today's world.  Not only do they allow us to stay connected to others, but their various applications can allow us to do everything from catch up on the latest TV show to pay bills.   

Along with all their benefits, there are some drawbacks to them as well.    This is especially true when it comes to your car and driving.  

First, on the negative side of things, there is the distracted driving factor.  Certainly you've heard countless reports and stories on the subject of distracted driving. 

Some studies have suggested that driving while talking on a cell phone reduces a driver’s response time to the same levels observed in drunk drivers.  Even hands-free cell phone use poses a danger; as some argue that it’s the act of participation in a conversation that’s a key part of the distraction.  

Besides conversation, texting while driving is an equally dangerous act. In fact, according to national statistics, texting while driving is significantly more dangerous than drunk driving. 

A study conducted by Car and Driver Magazine concluded the following on driver’s reaction times to stopping:

No distractions: 0.54 seconds to brake

Legally drunk: Add 4 feet to brake

Reading: Add 36 feet to brake

Typing: Add 70 feet to brake

Various government agencies, groups and coalitions continue to work to educate, prompt and legislate the public towards safer cell phone use.  In the meantime, we should all be working to limit cell phone use while driving and always avoid texting while driving 

Now, on the positive side of cell phone use in relation to your car, there's this; your smart phone is the perfect tool to document nearly everything you may need in a accident case and insurance claim.  While avoiding an accident is priority, even the best drivers may suffer an accident at some point.  Should his unfortunate event occurs, turn to your smart phone. 

Take a picture of the debris on the road. Take a picture of where that debris is in relation to the cars themselves. Take a picture of your bumpers and anything that's damaged on your vehicle. Try to take pictures of the other vehicle and try to take pictures of them together collectively with some other landmarks around. A single video could take care of all of these. Why you want to do that, is that this information can become very helpful in accident reconstruction if that needs to be done later. 

When it comes to talking to those involved, you don't need to get anybody to write anything. Turn the record button on, identify the time and say, "I can't find my pen and I don't have any paper. Is it okay if I record this? Can you just read me your license information? Can you give me your insurance information? You can just say it and I've got it on this recording." Then ask them, "Did you cause the accident? Do you think you were you at fault? Do you think I did anything wrong?" 

The more timely information you have the better your chances of prevailing in a legal case.   At the time of an accident, those responsible are normally very contrite and willing to provide details that may help you later on.    If you wait to get info, you may find that another attorney or the insurance company has been in contact with the other party.  Once this happens, those responsible for the action may begin to feel less motivated to claim responsibility. 

Along with the other party involved in the accident, record info for any witnesses as well.   Again, getting eye witness accounts may be crucial to you later on. Over time, people's memories can fade, so document their statements and info as soon as possible. 

Like many tools and inventions, the smart phone has both positive and negative aspects.  It's up to you to make smart decisions when it comes to cell phone use.

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, contact the attorneys at LDM&M.   Acting promptly to preserve your rights is essential after any accident.  For over 40 years, the attorneys at LDM&M have been helping individuals across Wisconsin receive the legal satisfaction that they deserve.  Contact our offices for a free, personal consolation.