Distracted driving is a major problem and is being recognized by lawmakers
across the country as an issue which must be addressed. In fact, many
states now ban the use of cell phones while driving, adopting hands-free
only rules, though this still has not seemed to prove as effective as
many hoped. However, cell phone use is only one of many forms of distracted
driving that causes disastrous, often fatal accidents on the road. Any
time a driver partakes in an activity that detracts attention from the
road, it increases that person’s chances of an accident, putting
the lives of others at risk.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 3,154
people were killed in 2013 as a result of distracted driving. That same
year, 424,000 individuals were injured in crashes involving distracted
drivers. This means, on average, 8 people died every day, while another
1,161 were injured due to distracted driving. In 2015, the number of fatal
accidents caused by distracted driving spiked to 3,477. However, just
because someone was not fatally injured does not mean the accident was
not serious. In fact, many injuries have a potential to be life-altering,
requiring long-term care and possibly even at-home assistance.
Components of Distracted Driving
Cell phone use has contributed immensely to the number of distracted driving
accidents that take place, but other activities such as eating, drinking,
reading, talking to other passengers, looking around, adjusting GPS devices,
adjusting the radio, or engaging in any other activity that requires a
driver to remove his or her attention from the road is a form of distracted
driving. That said, texting remains one of the most common and dangerous
habits among drivers.
Other distractions are visual in nature. For example, when a driver sees
an accident on the side of the road and looks through the passenger window
rather than staying focused on the road ahead, this can lead to an accident.
The Seriousness of this Dangerous Habit
Many of us are aware that distracted driving is an issue, but probably
do not realize the gravity of it. Even drivers who acknowledge the dangers
of it admit to doing it despite their awareness. Some studies have shown
that those who text or have phone conversations while driving are just
as impaired as drunk drivers. While lawmakers have tried to combat this
with hands-free rules, barring drivers from texting, studies have also
shown that using a hands-free device results in nearly the same level
of impairment. Why? Because even a phone conversation on a hands-free
device requires your mind to focus on something other than driving. If
you are driving at a particularly high speed, the consequences can be fatal.
Stop Distracted Driving
Everyone can participate in putting an end to distracted driving. For parents
of teens, it is important to lead by example. If your son or daughter
sees you texting or using your phone while driving, he or she will assume
this behavior is acceptable, regardless of anything you might say to the
contrary. Teens can also play an active role in their own safety. Have
a conversation with them about the dangers of distracted driving and the
responsibilities this privilege comes with. With the right safety messages
instilled, he or she might feel compelled to speak up as a passenger when
driving with friends, discouraging others from using a cell phone while driving.
While many states allow hands-free devices, most outlaw texting while driving.
If a driver is caught using a cell phone while driving, he or she can
face serious fines. If involved in an accident, a distracted driver might
also face criminal consequences, particularly if someone was injured or killed.
Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love was injured in a motor vehicle accident in the
metro Atlanta area, the experience was likely traumatic, overwhelming,
and stressful. You might even be facing steep medical bills, lost wages,
or even the loss of the ability to return to work. The financial strain
compounded with the emotional hardship is immensely difficult for survivors
to cope with, but you do not have to face it alone. You are entitled to
pursue just compensation and, at Goldstein Hayes, P.C., we are prepared
to do exactly that. Our legal team has been assisting automobile accident
victims who have suffered severe or debilitating injuries for years and
would be honored to do the same for you.
Contact us today at (888) 425-6070 to schedule a consultation.