Smartphones Are a Great Tool After a Car Accident

April 14, 2016 / 12:00 am

At any given moment, there are roughly 660,000 people across the country using a cellphone or other electronic device while driving.

That’s according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, which records distracted driving statistics at the website According to those figures, 38 percent of all distracted driving fatalities involved a motorist using a cellphone.

With that in mind, we would never recommend using a smartphone behind the wheel.

Yet smartphones can serve a valuable purpose in the moments after a motor vehicle collision. Here’s some advice from car accident attorneys: having one can help you from a legal standpoint.

  1. You can report the crash right away

There was a time when it wasn’t always easy to call for help after a crash. Get in a minor accident in the middle of town at 3 p.m. on a weekday, and you might see a response right away. Get in a serious accident on a country road at 1 a.m. and you might find yourself walking a few miles to find help.

But having a smartphone means you can report the crash right away to summon police or other emergency responders. Even if no one is hurt and the damage seems minor, it’s important to create a record of the accident as soon as possible.

  1. You can take photos

A lot of smartphones come with high-end cameras, which can come in handy after a crash. Use your phone to get photos or videos of the accident scene, documenting what has happened for your insurance company and the other driver’s insurance company. You should share these photos/videos with police as well.

  1. You can collect information

You may not have a pen and paper handy after a crash, but you can still record important information using your phone. You can collect contact info for the other drivers, details about their insurance company or anything else that might come in handy.

Again, we’ll note these are all good reasons to have a smartphone after a crash. When you’re driving, having a cellphone at hand can be a dangerous distraction. In Pennsylvania, texting while driving is illegal and carries a $50 fine. It’s considered a “primary violation,” meaning that if the police see you texting, you can get pulled over.

We know how alluring cellphones can be. But if you find you just can’t seem to put your phone down once you’re behind the wheel, try these tips:

  • Put your phone on silent. You won’t hear it ring or notice new texts, e-mails, notifications, etc.
  • Turn your phone off.
  • Lock your phone up. Put it in your trunk or your glove box until you get where you’re going.
  • There are a number of apps you can download – including a few designed for parents of teenage drivers – that can disable phones from creating or receiving texts while driving.

And while we encourage you to make every effort to drive safely, we recognize that accidents still happen. In some of those accidents, you might end up going to court. If you need legal assistance following a car crash, contact the car accident attorneys at Penglase and Benson to speak with us about our car accident legal services.

Our team is dedicated to offering clients a comprehensive array of legal services following a crash. Read more about our car accidents attorneys PA to learn more. (But please don’t look us up while you’re driving.)