Distracted driving is defined as doing another activity that takes attention away from driving; it is a known risk factor to increasing the chances of a car accident and was responsible for 17 percent of car crashes in which someone was injured in 2011. Every day, distracted driving car crashes are the cause of 9 deaths and more than 1100 injuries.
There are three main types of driving distractions are visual (taking eyes off the road); manual (taking hands off the steering wheel); and cognitive (mental distraction).
While many activities can cause distracted driving, texting while driving is considered the most dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction. It also takes the driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other driving distractions. In December 2012, more than 171 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, a number that has surely grown in the following years.Read More
The National Safety Council estimates that texting and driving causes 300,000 to 700,000 accidents every year. Many states have taken the initiative to ban texting and driving, making it easier for police officers to pull over an offending party and issue a ticket. These states have also made it easier for insurance companies and lawyers to determine fault when there is a car accident. When an insurance company evaluates an accident to determine fault, the adjuster will request and review the police report to see if either driver was violating traffic laws at the time of the accident. If a driver has violated a law, he or she will likely be found responsible for the majority if not all of the damages from the accident.
How Does Texting and Driving Increase the Risk of a Car Accident?Read More
I bet you’ve heard a lot about teenagers who text and drive but as it turns out, middle-aged drivers are guilty too and are increasing their risk of a car accident just like younger drivers. A study conducted by the University of California, San Diego found that most middle-aged drivers admit to using their cell phones regularly while driving, even with children in the car. Drivers also admitted to feeling pressured to answer work calls while driving. The authors of the study are hoping to send a message to companies to talk to employees about the risks associated with distracted driving, and to put policies in place to discourage them from using their cell phones while in the car.
Cell Phones and Car Accident Statistics
- More than one in four car accidents are caused by cell phone use, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).
- The risk of a car accident increases by eight times when people text and drive.
- Talking with a hands-free cell phone, which many deem an acceptable alternative, still makes drivers four times more likely to be involved in a car crash-the same rate as driving at the legal alcohol limit.
- 75 percent of study participants admitted to talking on their hands-free cell phone while driving and almost 90 percent of them consider themselves capable or very capable drivers while doing so.
- Less than 30 percent of study participants knew that talking on a hands-free phone increases the risk of crashing to the same degree as driving at the legal alcohol limit.
AT&T’s Anti Text and Drive Campaigns
Companies such as At&T are trying to do their part to decrease overall cell phone usage and text and drive accidents by using their advertising dollars to create awareness of the risks. Past “It Can Wait” campaign ads focused on text and drive awareness and mostly featured individuals speaking directly to the camera about their own experiences with distracted driving. Although these ads were deemed somewhat effective, AT&T’s researchers found that many people still didn’t feel like it was personally relevant to them. The new “It Can Wait” campaign opens the focus to include all cell phone usage, including checking social media while driving. It uses visual story-telling with different people going about their day who then come together in a horrific car crash when a mother looks down at the “pings” coming into her phone for social media notifications. The idea is that nothing happening on your phone screen, not a cute photo of your kid, not a call from your boss, is worth risking a car accident.
In light of the fact that it has been so difficult to get people to turn their cell phones off while driving, there has been some recent discussion about an app that automatically turns off our phones when we start the ignition. Whatever rules are made to decrease cell phone usage on the roads will be a positive change against car accident statistics.
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!Read More