It seems harmless, right? Grab your phone and answer a text real quickly. Who will know? But, if answering that text that leads to a New Haven auto accident, you will be deemed a distracted driver and will be in danger of legal consequences.
You might think proving that you had been texting – or engaging in any other type of distraction with a digital device – is difficult to do. After all, by the time help arrived at the accident, your cell phone would be tucked back in your pocket. Nobody saw you use it. So, you’re safe from any legal issues.
Well, that’s not the case. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released a document to guide prosecutors and law enforcement professionals in investigating and prosecuting distracted driving cases. They stated that sending a text message is one of the most dangerous types of distraction because it involves your vision, hands and thinking, distracting you in three ways at one time.
Regarding your cell phone activities during the time of the crash, it also states that:
- Cell phones and other devices may be collected as physical evidence if you are involved in an accident.
- A subpoena can be issued to the cell phone company to provide activity records of the phone in question. These can prove that your phone was in use at the time of the crash.
- Both a mobile device forensic expert and a cell phone representative may be called as witnesses in a distracted driving trial.
Drivers are legally responsible for the safe operation of their vehicles, and if cell phone records show that their attention was distracted, they are likely to be at fault for any accidents that occur. Be safe behind the wheel: Keep your eyes on the road and your surroundings, not your cell phone. You can answer your texts as soon as you exit your vehicle.