Knoxville-area residents and tourists are often seen operating their motor vehicles while engaging their cellphones. Some of these individuals are utilizing GPS, while others are using the device for surfing the Internet, texting or talking. Regardless of how or why a phone is being used, it can take an individual’s attention away from road. This can increase the chance of being involved in a serious car accident by as much as 66 percent.

In fact, a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that, although overall cellphone use while driving is on the decline, motorists are still using their phones in risky ways, which may mean that we will see more of these wrecks in the future. The study found that, while the number of motorists talking on their cellphone while driving has gone done since 2014, drivers manipulating their phones while behind the wheel increased 57 percent in 2018 compared to drivers in 2014. This is very troubling considering that 800 people were killed in 2017 in accidents attributable to cellphone manipulation.

Although state and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations, are seeking ways to reduce cellphone use while driving, the truth of the matter is that this is only one way that drivers become distracted while behind the wheel. Approximately 25 percent of all motorists are distracted in one way or another, whether it be by talking on the phone, changing the radio station, eating, grooming or engaging passengers.

Every day, innocent motorists are put in harm’s way due to these negligent acts. The damages car accident victims suffer in wrecks caused by distracted drivers can be resounding. Victims can be left with physical disability, emotional pain and suffering and financial losses that can be ruinous. To avoid the worst outcome and obtain some sort of accountability, these victims may want to think about taking legal action in the form of a personal injury lawsuit. Doing so could lead to the recovery of compensation and further deter such negligent acts from occurring in future.