Every year thousands of drivers are injured and killed in distracted driving related car accidents. Education campaigns that share personal horror stories, facts, and statistics are important to help raise awareness and understanding about the dangers of distracted driving but they have not proven to be the perfect answer.
If you or a family member was injured in a distracted driving car accident you should consider contacting a personal injury lawyer who can help you fight for the compensation you deserve.
Distracted Driving Defined
Distracted driving is defined as any activity or action that could take a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. Examples of actions that could create distracted driving:
- Texting*, calling, or browsing your cell phone/smart phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Grooming tasks such as applying makeup
- Reading or looking at a navigation screen including maps to find a destination
- Watching a video
- Turning on or adjusting music or audio books
*Texting while driving is considered by far the most dangerous form of distracted driving as it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver. As of December 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the US every month; that number has likely grown as the addiction to instant, quick communication has soared.
Distracted Driving Facts and Statistics
Distraction.gov recently released distracted driving data from 2013.
- In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in car crashes that involved a distracted driver. While this number is a 6.7 percent decrease in the number of fatalities from 2012, the number of injured people actually increased from 421,000 to approximately 424,000.
- 10 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes under the age of 20 were reportedly distracted at the time of the car crash. This age group represents the highest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of an accident. Overall, drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
- According to the National Occupant Protection Use Surveys, there are approximately 660,000 drivers using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving at any given moment through the daylight hours. This number has held steady since 2010; indicating a resistance to educational campaigns.
- According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), drivers are three times more likely to get into a car crash while engaging in visual-manual subtasks such as reaching for a phone or dialing and texting.
- Checking a text message while driving takes a person’s eye off the road for an average of five seconds. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded and potentially enough time to cause a car accident. (2009, VTTI)
- Studies have found that headset (or other hands free) cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held cell phone use. (VTTI)
- One quarter of teens admit that they respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. Twenty percent of teens and 10 percent of adults admit that they have extended multi-message text conversations while driving. (From a study conducted by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute)
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!