Distracted driving is rampant, killing hundreds each year. Today it is easier than ever to become distracted behind the wheel, because new technology allows us to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails and update social media while driving – all actions that are proven to increase crash risk. The National Safety Council (NSC) observes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to the epidemic of distracted driving accidents and deaths.
According to the National Highway Traffic Administration’s 2016 Traffic Safety Facts:
- Nine percent of fatal crashes in 2016 were reported as distraction-affected crashes
- In 2016, there were 3,450 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers
- Six percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash
- Nine percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
- In 2016, there were 562 nonoccupants killed in distraction-affected crashes. Nonoccupants is defined as pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.
Behaviors to Avoid
- Texting while Driving: When it comes to cell phone usage behind the wheel, texting and driving is a top culprit of accidents caused by cell phones. Looking away from the road even for just one second can put you in a different lane or lead you to hit something that you had not seen even just the second before. Each year, billions of people send text messages while driving. Many make the mistake of thinking just a few seconds to type in a word is harmless but in fact it can be just that one time that can lead to a fatal situation. According to Distraction.gov, the average person will take at least five seconds off the road when traveling 55 mph. That is comparative to travelling the length of a football field while blindfolded! Their website has many other impactful stats to review about texting while driving.
- Other Cell Phone Related Tasks: Across the United States, 46 have laws against texting while driving. However, it can be hard to prove one is texting behind the wheel with the many other things people can do with their smartphone—all which can take one’s eyes off the road for the same duration as it would be to read or respond to a text. Many people try to update their maps on their phone while driving, or look down for long amounts of times to read where they might need to make a turn. Other times people may be searching for something to listen to on a music app that takes one’s eyes off the road. There is also dialing someone’s number, looking for the contact in the phone, or even scrolling through social media apps.
- Others in the Car: Driving with others in the vehicle, whether it is family or friends, can be distracting—even when it all feels like fun, quality time together. When children are in the car, it can be distracting if they begin crying or need something. When friends are in the car, everyone may be engaged in conversation or music that can be a distraction while the driver is not even realizing it.
- Eating or Drinking: Many of us eat or drink while driving. In our on-the-go society, it helps us to multi-task and many will eat a meal while on the road. It takes time though to unwrap a sandwich, pick up a beverage, etc. that can take someone’s eyes off the road for a duration of time.
Car accident victims often face substantial medical bills, lost wages and strain on their personal relationships. A car accident has the potential to cause severe personal, financial and emotional trauma. It can be very confusing trying to figure out the legalities of the situation. You need someone experienced to take care of the legal matters for you so that you can rest and recover from the accident.
If you or someone you know is injured in an accident with a distracted driver, contact Mark A. Simon. He is your local, go-to, experienced Denver personal injury attorney
. Mark has been championing the rights of the injured for more than 22 years. He will personally handle your claim and will walk with you every step of the way – through any needed medical treatment and settlement. He can help you with the complicated legal steps, conduct a thorough investigation, and help obtain all deserved compensation. Contact Mark directly for more information. You can also call the office at 303-321-HURT (303-321-4878).