Distracted driving is described as an epidemic by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Several studies show that it’s as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, as both distraction and impairment can cause drivers to lose focus on the roadway and experience delayed reaction times.
Between 2012 and 2014, nearly 10,000 people were killed in auto accidents that were caused by distracted driving, and around 400,000 others are injured annually in distracted driving crashes. In total, accidents where at least one driver was distracted account for nearly one-in-five car crashes on roadways in the United States.
5 Facts about Distracted Driving Everyone Needs to Know
The campaign to make drivers more aware of the dangers of distracted driving is wide-reaching. Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies frequently engage in awareness and enforcement campaigns via billboards, television commercials, and print advertisements.
Despite these efforts, many drivers are only vaguely aware of how dangerous distracted driving is. At Matt Hardin Law, we’ve helped many drivers who were seriously injured due to the negligence of distracted drivers, and we know how devastating these accidents can be. That’s why we want to help create awareness of its dangers, starting with these five important facts:
Distraction comes in many forms.
Although many people commonly associate distracted driving with using a cell phone, smartphone, or other electronic device, it has many causes. Some of these causes include things like eating, putting on makeup, using an in-dash GPS or entertainment system, reaching in the glove box, and even carrying on conversations with passengers.
Drivers can travel the length of a football field in the time it takes to send one text.
When drivers who are traveling 55 mph take their eyes off the roadway long enough to send a single text, their vehicles can travel 100 yards—the total length of a football field. That means a single text is all it takes for a vehicle to cross a median and end up facing oncoming traffic or to leave a roadway.
Young drivers are the most at-risk for distracted driving accidents.
New drivers ages 20 and below are more likely to be involved in distracted driving accidents than drivers in any other age bracket. A 2013 study found that more than two out of five students admitted to driving while distracted in the previous 30 days.
Distracted driving accidents are underreported.
The number of distracted driving injuries and deaths reported every year in the United States is shocking, but the number may actually be even higher. Toxicology tests and breathalyzers can determine whether alcohol or drugs played a role in an auto accident, but it can be difficult for investigators to determine whether drivers were distracted before their accidents—especially if they weren’t texting or talking on the phone.
It’s impossible for drivers to effectively multitask.
Most drivers are aware of the dangers of driving while distracted, but some believe that they are capable of safely driving their vehicles while performing other tasks. However, research shows that people who multitask experience critical deficiencies in both activities. That means any task that’s performed while behind the wheel other than driving itself will significantly impair a person’s ability to control their vehicle.
What Can You Do if You Were Injured in a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you were hurt in an accident that was caused by a distracted driver, you may be facing expensive medical bills. And to make matters worse, you might be too hurt to go back to work. That can mean weeks, months, or even years of lost wages.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville distracted driving accident attorneys believe that innocent victims should never to have to pay for their own medical bills and lost paychecks out of their own pockets. We have more than two decades of experience assisting victims just like you, and we know how to collect evidence to prove that the other driver was distracted and negligent leading up to the accident.
Get in touch with our legal team today by dialing completing a free online consultation form. We’re ready to fight for your rights to the money you deserve.