You know just how dangerous it is to use your smartphone behind the wheel, but what about the driver next to you? The sad reality is that no matter how safely you drive, there is almost always another driver who is ignoring the rules of the road. In regard to distracted driving, many Pennsylvania drivers seem to struggle with keeping their hands off their smartphones and on their steering wheels.

Several years ago, talking on cell phones was a huge concern of safety experts. While talking on the phone while driving is still just as dangerous as it was in the past, it is no longer as much of a worry. While this might seem like good news, it is perhaps only the other side of a more dangerous habit.

It’s not just texting and driving

Your smartphone is so much more than just a means of communication. Aside from making phone calls and tapping out text messages, you can access maps, stream music, watch TV shows and so much more. All of these fun features might be making it difficult for some drivers to put down the phone and focus on the task at hand.

In 2018, researchers from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety repeated a study that they initially performed in 2014. The roadside observations showed that the percentage of drivers physically manipulating their phones rose to 3.4 percent in 2018. This rise coincided with the decrease in talking on a cell phone while driving.

Distracted driving is dangerous

In 2017, approximately 37,000 people died in car accidents. Based solely on the IIHS researchers’ observations, drivers using smartphones likely caused around 800 of those deaths. Unfortunately, the actual number of distracted driving deaths is likely much higher.

Experts struggle to collect data regarding how and when drivers use cell phones while driving. This is possibly in part because of the changing nature of distracted driving. Singing, eating and talking on cell phones were significant concerns just a few years ago. Now, drivers seem to be engaging in these behaviors less frequently, but they are physically manipulating their phones more frequently.

Your loved one deserves justice

Dealing with the unexpected death of a loved one is never easy. Your family might be struggling to address medical bills from attempted life-saving treatment or wondering how you will get by on less income. These issues heap so quickly that you might not have had time to even properly grieve your loss.

Pennsylvania drivers generally understand that distracted driving is dangerous, and yet many choose to engage in the practice anyway. If you have lost a loved one because of a negligent driver, you can hold him or her accountable for his or her actions. A successfully pursued wrongful death lawsuit can help you achieve compensation on behalf of your loved one’s estate, which can address many of the lingering damages. These suits can be complicated though, so an experienced attorney can help better explain your options.