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.