Latest News 2017 March Distracted Driving Is Deadly

Distracted Driving Is Deadly

Today's drivers are more distracted than ever before, especially with the advent of cellphones, texting, and the latest technological advancement, smartphones. While these modern technologies have transformed the way we communicate, research, and do business, they can be deadly behind the wheel.

When drivers are pulled away from the primary task of driving, it's called "distracted driving," which refers to any distraction that takes the driver's eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, or their mind off of driving.

While drivers have been routinely distracted by things such as maps, rambunctious passengers, and hot coffee, electronic devices have become more of a widespread problem for drivers of all ages, but even more so for teenagers and young adults.

Common forms of driver distraction:

  • Texting while driving
  • Using a smartphone
  • Using a cell phone
  • Reading books, directions, or maps
  • Watching a movie
  • Using a navigation system
  • Adjusting a CD player or radio
  • Children in the back of the vehicle

Pedestrian Deaths & Distracted Driving

Recent research from the Governors Highway Safety Association has found that all of this has significantly changed the rate of pedestrian deaths nationwide. In 2006, pedestrian deaths comprised 11% of motor vehicle crash fatalities—only 9 years later, that number jumped to 15% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities. All told, there has been a 25% increase in pedestrian deaths since 2010.

The only major change in causes of vehicular deaths since then?

There are 150 million more smartphones worldwide. Since 2010, Apple has distributed 6 times more iPhones a year than when they started. Thirty percent more drivers have smartphones than in 2011.

Now, the GHSA research did not find what exactly led to the uptick in pedestrian deaths. However, they did rule some things out. They found that deaths according to DUI were significant, but didn't increase enough to account for a 25% increase in pedestrian deaths. Lower gas prices and an improved economy has also led to a higher number of drivers—but still, doesn't account for a 25% increase.

Of all the above distractions, texting while driving is the most dangerous because it involves visual, manual and cognitive distraction. According to the most recent data from DISTRACTION.GOV, in 2014:

  • Over 430,000 people were injured in distracted driving crashes.
  • Nearly 3,200 people were killed by distracted drivers.
  • 10% of 15 to 19-year-old drivers in fatal crashes were distracted.
  • 15 to 19-year-olds were distracted more than any other age group.
  • Drivers in their 20s accounted for 38% of distracted drivers who were using cell phones when involved in fatal car accidents.
  • At any moment during the day, 660,000 drivers in the U.S. are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.
  • By 2014, 80 percent of drivers in the U.S. owned a smartphone.

We anticipate that more injury lawsuits will be filed against distracted drivers—after all, distraction is one of the worst and most basic forms of negligence. If you've been injured by a distracted driver, the law gives you the right to hold the at-fault driver accountable.

Categories: Fatal Car Accident