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Cell Phone Use and Car Accidents in Delaware

Delaware Law – Driving and Using a Cell Phone

Delaware’s law banning cell phone use when driving was enacted in 2010 and became effective in early 2011. Since then, it has undergone a handful of minor revisions. The most recent amendment occurred last year when the Delaware legislature added a section which now allows points to be added to a driving record if the driver was found to be in violation of the law while operating a commercial vehicle, like a truck.

Delaware’s cell phone use when driving statute, Title 21 of the Delaware Code § 4176C (a), provides as follows:

“No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any highway while using an electronic communication device while such motor vehicle is in motion.”

Under subsection (b), using a cell phone means doing any of the following:

  • viewing images or data,
  • playing games,
  • composing, sending, reading or viewing an email or text, or
  • engaging in a call.

In addition, the statute allows for drivers to use hands-free devices to engage in calls, so long as the hands-free device is not in the driver’s hands. Holding a cell phone in your hand while using a speaker phone would still be violation of Delaware’s law banning cell phone use when driving. Violation of the law can result in a penalty between $50 up to $200, and points may be assessed for violation of the law if the driver was operating a commercial vehicle.

Cell Phone Use While Driving Results in Many Car & Truck Accidents in Delaware

Distracted driving is a serious problem in this country, and Delaware is no exception. Last year, there were nearly 5,000 vehicle accidents in Delaware due to distracted driving, driver inattention and fatigue. Distracted driving can be many things: cell phone use, texting, eating, drinking, changing a CD or turning on the radio – anything that takes your eyes off the road.

In Delaware, over 400 vehicle accidents were attributed to cell phone use in 2009 and 2010 combined. Read more about cell phone use and accidents in Delaware. That’s almost four accidents a week. These numbers aren’t just statistics. They represent serious car, truck and pedestrian accidents, and the lives of those involved.

It is a given that cell phone use is going to cause car crashes and accidents. In fact, despite Delaware’s ban on cell phone use when driving, there were 138 accidents attributed to cell phone use in 2011. According to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety, the vast majority of cell phone related accidents occur in New Castle County, followed by Sussex County and then Kent County. Although lower than prior years, we can certainly expect that cell phone use will continue to cause car accidents.

Related content:

Delaware Car & Truck Accident Lawyer with Over 30 Years of Experience

Since 1982, firm founder, Martin Knepper, has served residents of Delaware in all personal injury matters, including car accidents and truck accidents. If you’ve been in a car accident due to cell phone use, contact our accident lawyers and ask for a free consultation. (302) 658.1717

Our lawyers serve residents throughout the Delaware area, including: Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Middletown, and Smyrna. We also represent residents of other states such as Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia. For more information, please contact us.

*Disclaimer: Every case is unique and you should not take any action or make decisions in your case without speaking to a qualified car and truck accident lawyer in Delaware. This website page does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Use of the contact form on this website or emailing one of our lawyers does not create any attorney-client relationship. In addition, confidential information should not be sent through the contact form.

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