“Mobile phone use in cars is the drink-driving of this generation,”
Victoria’s Roads Safety Minister – 2019
Most people are acutely aware that using a mobile phone while driving is not only an expensive offence but incredibly dangerous. Despite this obvious knowledge, thousands of people are still doing so, putting themselves at risk of an accident or fatality.
So why do people continue to do this when they get behind the wheel? Monash University published an in-depth post on Nomophobia: The fear of being without a smartphone associated with problematic use? Some people get a dopamine rush of pleasure when they hear a notification or chime.
This addiction or need to be available and/or in contact with others via various communication means drives people to constantly have their phone in their hands and use it. They forget about the possibility of being stopped and fined by Police or photographed using the device or even having an accident.
In Queensland, the fine is $1,000 and four (4) demerit points. Even if you’re stopped in traffic or at a red light you are still not allowed to use the device. Double demerit points apply for second or subsequent mobile phone offences committed within 1 year after an earlier offence. So the outcome can be very costly, potentially a loss of license.
Compensation Claims If Using A Phone While Driving
If you have a car accident as a result of using your mobile phone, you may not be able to make a compensation claim for injuries you suffer or damage to vehicles.
Your claim will be assessed by the insurer in line with their cover and exclusions. The facts will be assessed to establish a judgement on a claim payout.
It is a risky situation as if you are not successful in obtaining a claim payout, you may be personally responsible for medical costs and repair costs to the vehicles involved.
What to do if you’re involved in a a motor vehicle accident
If you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, whether or not it’s your fault, follow these important steps:
- Call Triple 000 to seek medical assistance for anyone that may be physically injured or unable to exit the car.
- Exchange details with the other driver/s including license details, name, address, license plate number.
- Report the accident to Police either here online or at a station.
- Contact your insurance company to lodge a claim for your vehicle.
- See your Doctor if you have sustained injuries post any hospital visit.
Speak with a compensation lawyer about lodging a personal injury claim.
How to reduce using your phone while driving
There are a number of accepted steps you can take to remove the chance of using your phone while driving. These include:
- Connect your phone via Bluetooth to the vehicle’s communication services to answer calls.
- Say ‘Hey Siri’ send a text to whoever you want to send it to.
- Turn the phone onto airplane mode for your journey.
- Pullover and switch off the car to use your phone.
It’s still important to make sure you are paying attention while driving, keep your eyes on the road and not get distracted.
Arrange a Free Consultation
If you have suffered a car accident, contact us today for a free consultation on your case.