Factors Involved in Distracted Driving
As drivers, we have a duty to pay attention to what’s on the road. Distracted driving is when drivers engage in another activity that takes their attention away from driving; it is a known risk factor for increasing the chances of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving was responsible for the loss of 3,142 lives in 2019.
There are four main types of driving distractions:
- visual (taking eyes off the road)
- Manual (taking hands off the steering wheel)
- Auditory (oral distraction)
- 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 distractions. It also takes the driver’s attention away from driving more frequently and for longer periods than other driving distractions. Each year, billions of texts are sent and received in the U.S. Whatever percentage of those are sent while driving, they increase our risk of distracted driving accidents.
If you or a loved one was injured in a distracted driving accident, you may be suffering from serious injuries. Contact a car accident lawyer for a free consultation; an injury lawyer is best equipped to discuss your legal rights and place a value on your injury case.
Factors involved in distracted driving
The most common behaviors involved in distracted driving accidents are:
- Cell phone use
- Teenage drivers with passengers
- Rowdy kids or pets
- Activities such as eating, applying makeup, and changing music
Texting and driving leads to hundreds of fatal car accidents every year. The reality is that most of us are addicted to our phones and have become accustomed to instant communication. It’s not surprising then, that 80% of drivers admit to using their cell phones while driving.
Teenage drivers are the most likely age group to end up in a distracted driving accident. The second risk factor is the number of passengers. The risk of a teenage driver being involved in a fatal car crash increase with every additional passenger in their car. There is a 44% increased risk with one passenger, doubling when there are two passengers, and quadrupling when there are three or more passengers.
Distracted driving deaths
Out of the hundreds of people killed in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers, there are drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists. Distracted driving data from the NHTSA, found that in 2019, distracted drivers were involved in the deaths of 566 non-vehicle occupants.
Washington State distracted driving laws
On Tuesday, May 16, 2017 Governor Jay Inslee signed a tougher distracted driving law for Washington State. The new law – aimed at cracking down on hand-held cell phone use while driving – was originally set to go into effect in 2019. To the delight of the safety advocates, Inslee vetoed the delayed start date in favor of a faster implementation in mid-July stating that the law was too important to wait for the provisions to become law.
The measure prohibits holding an electronic device – including phones, tablets and other electronic devices – while driving, including while in traffic or waiting for a traffic light to change. The measure does allow for “the minimal use of a finger” to activate, deactivate or initiate a function of a personal electronic device while driving. The current law only prohibits texting or holding a phone to the ear while driving.
Seek the help of a car accident lawyer
If you or a loved one was injured in a collision because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced car 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 larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers 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!