The use of cell phones with texting and emailing capabilities has become
increasingly common in recent years. For example, in the month of June
2011 alone there were over 196 billion text messages sent or received
within the United States. This number represented a 50 percent increase
in text message usage since the same month in 2009.
Distracted driving occurs when a driver talks, texts, or reads email while they are behind
the wheel of an automobile. According to statistics released by the Centers
for Disease Control (CDC) distracted driving is a factor in one in every
five automobile accidents which result in injury. In a recent study, 69
percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 who were surveyed
reported that they had spoken on their cell phones while driving at some
point within 30 days of the being asked. In addition, approximately 30
percent of these drivers acknowledged reading or sending text messages
or emails while driving.
Every day, automobile accidents resulting from distracted driving kill
nearly ten individuals and injure over 1,000. In 2011, 3,331 individuals
were killed and 387,000 individuals were injured as a result of distracted
driving accidents. These numbers represent a steady increase in the number
of distracted driving accidents which have occurred in recent years.
Family of man who died in a distracted driving accident seek to raise awareness
of the dangers of texting while driving.
Last week, the family of young man who lost his life in a
distracted driving accident released the text message he was sending when the automobile accident
occurred. The family hoped that doing so would serve as a reminder to
others to avoid talking, texting, or reading emails while driving. The
single car rollover accident happened after the young man jerked the steering
wheel and overcorrected his path after drifting into the oncoming lane
while texting. Police officers located the cell phone in the wreckage.
The text message was never sent.
Distracted driving increases the likelihood of being in an automobile accident
because it takes the driver’s attention away from the road. There
are three main types of distractions: visual, manual, and cognitive. Texting
is particularly dangerous because it creates all three types of distractions.
You can take steps to prevent distracted driving.
The CDC suggests that drivers take the following steps in order to prevent
- Never text and drive;
- Remain focused and alert while driving;
- Take a pledge to drive distraction free;
- Speak out if you are in a car where the driver is distracted;
- Encourage friends and family not to use their cell phones while driving; and
- Get involved in promoting safe driving within your community.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an
automobile accident that was caused by distracted driving, you should speak to an attorney
immediately. An attorney can ensure that your legal rights are protected
and that you receive the compensation you deserve.