As if maneuvering a 4,000-pound piece of machinery in a safe and considerate manner were not enough, people also need to be concerned about distracted drivers. While distractions while driving are not a new concept, what is new is the frequency in which accidents occur because of them. In addition, these modern times — with its emphasis on two ideas that seem like they are opposites of one another, mobility and connectivity, provide drivers with an array of new distractions that much be dealt with effectively.
Distracted Driving By the Numbers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the statistics related to distracted driving are sobering. In the United States, more than 1,160 people are injured and over 8 people are killed as the result of the actions of a distracted driver. This agency divides distracted driving incidents into three broad categories — visual, cognitive and manual. When a driver is visually distracted, it is because their eyes are not on the road while a cognitively-distracted driver has taken their mind off the task of driving. It is considered to be a manual distraction when it involves the driver removing his or her hands from the steering wheel while the vehicle is still in motion. Regardless of the category of distracted driving, its consequences can be extremely serious — and perhaps even deadly.
Even though the number of people killed because of distracted drivers went down slightly in 2013 — the latest these statistics were available — the problem is still a huge one. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed on roads in the United States because of distracted driving. 3,154 people lost their lives in 2013 because a driver was distracted while operating a motor vehicle. 424,000 people were injured during distracted driving incidents in 2013. This figure is an increase of nearly 10 percent over data compiled in 2011. Other available statistics for 2013 show that vehicle crashes that involved a driver who was distracted increased 18 percent so that almost one in every five crashes is due to the driver’s distractions.
Not All Distracted Driving is the Same
The methods of distracted driving can run the gamut from eating and drinking to changing the radio station to disciplining children. Even things that seem benign such as a conversation with a passenger, listening to a favorite song on the radio or glancing at the surrounding scenery, can have a distracting effect on the attention of the driver. One of the most devastating — and distracting — activities that occur while people are driving is texting. Texting has the ability to take the driver’s eyes off the road for longer periods of time when compared to other activities, In addition, texting while driving means an increase in the frequency that the driver’s eyes are not on the road. In fact, according to research quoted by the CDC, while a driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour, the average amount of time that they take their eyes off the road is the same amount of time that it would take that person to cover a football field.
Injuries While Driving Distracted
When a person drives while they are distracted, it is likely that the result will be an accident that will injure someone else or even themselves. In addition, these accidents could also result in the death of the driver, passengers or people in other vehicles. For people who believe that distracted driving has been the cause of their accident, it is important to secure the services of an attorney who is well-versed in these matters.
If you — or someone you love — has been injured in a vehicle accident involving a distracted driver, we can help. As the incidences of car accidents involving distracted drivers continues to increase, the chances are that you will either be injured — or even worse — at some point in your life. Knowing how to proceed after you are involved in such an accident can provide the difference between prompt payment of medical bills and bill collectors calling you. Contact our law firm today to speak with one of our legal staff or complete our free case evaluation form.