Where Should I Keep My Phone in Case of a Car Accident?
June 8, 2021
After a car accident, a person’s phone can be a lifeline. In addition to calling 911 for help, car accident victims can preserve critical evidence for a personal injury claim using various features of their smart phone. However, the force of an impact during an accident can send objects inside a car flying in all directions. When this happens, accident victims may not be able to locate their phone when they need it most. Knowing the best place to keep their phone in the car can help drivers be prepared, should an accident occur.
Should I Store My Phone in the Glove Compartment?
Although it might seem like a safe place, drivers should not store their phone in the glove compartment, particularly in the summer. Temperatures in a car parked in the sun can easily reach more than 100 degrees in less than an hour, even in relatively mild weather. Exposing smartphones to temperatures above 95 degrees can damage a phone battery and cause data loss. When a phone overheats, the best thing to do is turn it off or put it in airplane mode and let it cool down slowly. Any rapid shift in temperature can lead to further damage.
There are dangers in storing phones in a glove compartment in the winter as well, since temperatures below freezing can cause a phone to shut off completely.
There has been some debate about storing phones in the glove compartment. Car manufacturers and safety organizations initially pushed to persuade drivers to put their phones in the glove compartment to prevent distracted driving.
Although preventing distracted driving is a worthy goal, storing phones in glove compartments is now discouraged because drivers may end up with devices that are in damaged or unusable condition.
Where is a Safe Place to Keep My Phone in the Car?
A safe place to keep a phone in the car is in a smartphone mount. The advantages to a smartphone mount include the following:
- The phone is less likely to be thrown about in the car interior during an accident.
- Drivers are less tempted to hold the phone while the vehicle is moving.
- Drivers can obtain hands-free GPS assistance.
- Drivers can use a phone’s voice assistant if needed.
Drivers should never handle a phone while driving. Even with hands-free mounts, it is best to avoid talking or voice texting while driving and, instead, stay focused on the road.
What Types of Phone Mounts are Available?
Knowing some facts about phone mounts can help drivers make informed choices. Basically, there are three types of phone mounts available today:
Vent attachments work well in vehicles that have a standard air conditioner vent; however, these types do not work with circular vents. Most windshield and dashboard mounts attach via a suction base, whereas others use adhesive.
Some mounts use spring-loaded arms or magnetic bases to hold the phone in place. Magnetic mounts require attaching a metal plate to the back of the phone. This may be a problem if the metal place is near the phone charger. Spring-loaded and magnetic mounts need to be large enough and strong enough to hold the phone.
Ways to Use a Phone After a Car Accident
When a car accident happens, the first thing drivers or passengers should do is reach for their phone and call 911. After any accident, it is imperative to report the accident to the police and get medical attention, even if injuries may not be obvious. Individuals who are able can then use their phone to capture evidence after a car accident by taking photos or videos of the following:
- Views of damaged vehicles from different angles
- License plates of all vehicles involved
- Road debris
- Road and weather conditions
- Nearby stop signs, red lights, other traffic control devices
Oftentimes, people forget or misremember accident details when asked to recall them later. Adding names and phone numbers of witnesses into a phone’s contact list can also assist in an accident investigation.
When speaking with police, witnesses, or other drivers involved in the accident, it is always important to never admit fault. Also, one should not minimize any potential injuries. Insurance companies may attempt to use statements such as these to minimize or deny any future personal injury claim.
How can Drivers Preserve Evidence if a Phone Gets Damaged in a Car Accident?
There is always a possibility that a phone may get damaged in a car accident even if it is stored in a mount. Drivers can preserve evidence even if their phone is damaged by using apps that continuously stream data and video from a phone into cloud storage.
Some of these apps also activate emergency calling systems that automatically connect to pre-selected emergency contacts in the event of a vehicle’s sudden impact.
What Laws Govern Cell Phone Use While Driving?
Distracted driving causes thousands of fatal accidents each year in the United States. On average, about one in five distracted driving accidents are the result of using a cell phone. For this reason, most states have laws governing cell phone use while driving, including the following:
- Pennsylvania’s texting-while-driving ban prohibits drivers from sending, reading, or writing a text while their vehicle is in motion. The penalty is a primary offense. However, Pennsylvania’s texting ban does not include using a GPS or any other device or system that is physically or electronically integrated into the vehicle.
- In New Jersey, it is a primary offense to talk or text on a hand-held phone. Using a hands-free mount is not illegal.
Studies indicate that nearly half of all drivers under the age of 50 admit to texting or talking on the phone while driving. Putting the phone in Do Not Disturb or airplane mode can help drivers resist the temptation to talk or text while the vehicle is in motion. However, in many cases, accidents happen because of another party’s negligence. It is important for drivers to know when to call a car accident lawyer if they have been in a crash.
When Should I Contact a Car Accident Lawyer?
Individuals should always contact a car accident lawyer if they have been involved in a collision that resulted in injury or death. Drivers sometimes assume that the insurance companies will take care of everything; however, the wording of insurance policies can be very confusing. Qualified car accident lawyers have spent years studying the legal language of insurance policies, and they are well versed in evaluating accident cases and protecting the rights of injured individuals and their families.
What Results has Galfand Berger LLP Obtained for Car Accident Victims?
Over many decades, the legal team at Galfand Berger LLP has obtained numerous six- and seven-figure settlements for car accident victims. Each case is different, and our lawyers are always available to evaluate the circumstances of car accidents and advise clients at no charge regarding whether they have a valid personal injury claim. Two of the many examples of settlements that Galfand Berger has obtained for clients are the following:
No one wants to get into a car accident. However, being prepared for accidents can make the road to recovery smoother. One way for drivers to prepare is to add the phone numbers of their insurance company and their lawyer to the phone’s contact list.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP are Committed to Assisting Drivers and Passengers Injured in Automobile Collisions
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP are committed to assisting drivers and passengers injured in automobile collisions. For more than 70 years, our firm has represented injured individuals by protecting their rights. If you have questions regarding what to do after an accident, we will be glad to help you. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or contact us online. From our offices in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we proudly serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Allentown and Harrisburg.