Smartphone Data and Distracted Driving Claims in San Marcos

Car crashes and other motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving are much too common throughout Southern California, and all of these collisions are preventable. When a serious distracted driving crash does occur, it is critical for anyone injured to gather evidence to prove distracted driving in order to obtain damages — from money to cover medical care and lost wages to compensation for pain and suffering. One important source of information in distracted driving crashes is cell phone data, which often can prove definitively that a motorist was texting at the precise moment of an accident. 

However, as a recent article in The New York Times discusses, cell phone data is not retrieved nearly as often as it should be in the aftermath of collisions, and it is especially important that this changes given the increasing rate of distracted driving crashes. Our San Marco car accident lawyers can tell you more.

Still No Definitive Database for Distracted Driving Cell Phone Data

For quite some time, as the article points out, state and federal safety agencies and organizations have been highlighting the serious dangers of distracted driving crashes involving cell phones — from talking on a phone to sending and receiving texts. While California was among the first states to ban the use of handheld electronic devices while driving, motorists in Southern California continue to violate the law, reading and sending text messages and emails while driving and using their smartphones for other purposes. Such distractions can be, and often are, deadly.

Despite the known risks of distracted driving involving smartphones and the need to collect clear data, the article in The New York Times underscores that there is still “no definitive database of the number of crashes or fatalities caused by cell phone distraction,” and as a result, the current estimates that exist are very likely underestimates. Further, the article points out that this “absence of clear data comes as collisions are rising.”

Smartphones Linked to Rise in Distracted Driving Crashes

It can be complicated and time-consuming for law enforcement bodies to obtain smartphone data after a collision, and as a result, this evidence often is not collected. Indeed, “police can access cell phone records, but the process is cumbersome, and privacy laws require a subpoena.” Moreover, there are financial costs that cities and counties often do not want to incur. Yet, gathering this data could illuminate the true impact of smartphones on distracted driving collisions, and it could provide necessary evidence for injured vehicle occupants who are trying to determine fault in a car accident case.

According to The New York Times, motor vehicle collisions rose by 16 percent from 2020 to 2021, and in 2021, there was a 16-year high of reported traffic fatalities. Although only 1 percent of those deaths were definitively attributed to distracted driving, experts believe the number is actually much higher. Being able to cite distracted driving as a clear factor in many of these cases could result in improved safety efforts in Southern California and throughout the country.

Contact a San Marcos Car Accident Attorney Today

If you were injured in a motor vehicle collision and you believe a distracted driver was at fault, our experienced San Marcos car accident attorneys can help you gather a wide range of evidence — including cell phone data — to support your claim and to seek the compensation you need. Contact the Walton Law Firm for more information about how we can assist you. 

See Related Blog Posts:

Navigating Car Accidents Across North County, San Diego: A Legal Guide

New Report Identifies Types of Drivers by Dangerous Behavior


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