Although we are weeks away from the big Fourth of July holiday weekend, the summer driving season has already begun in earnest. Between now and the next holiday weekend, tens of thousands of drivers will travel across the state to various vacation spots. One of the perks of getting away these days is knowing that you can still stay connected. This is why cell phone and tablet use has grown over the past few years.
Nevertheless, there are a number of drivers who insist on staying connected even when they are behind the wheel. According to a State Farm Insurance study, less than 20 percent of drivers surveyed in 2009 indicated that they used the Internet functions on their phones while behind the wheel. Indeed, the technology was different then (no 4G network connections or portable hotspots back then), and phones may not have been so sophisticated.
However, that was then, and this is now. Yes, this is a cliché, but with faster download speeds and higher bandwith with phones, more people are apt to use their phones while driving. As we have noted in a number of our posts, distracted driving can not only be seen as a crime, it can form the basis of liability in the event of an accident.
If a driver is talking, texting or surfing the net (even for directions), this can be seen as a breach of the duty to use reasonable care. If the breach is the proximate cause of the accident, the offending driver can be held liable for the injuries suffered and property that is damaged.