Smartphone Distraction Kills More Americans Each Day
Distracted driving is a major cause of many kinds of accidents that seriously injure, maim and kill thousands of Americans every year. They range from minor fender-benders to gruesome wrecks that result in wrongful deaths of beloved family members. Every kind of accident you can imagine – including boating – potentially has “distraction” as the cause. A few include:
- Truck accidents
- Motorcycle wrecks
- Bicycle accidents
- Rear-end collisions
- Head-on crashes
- Rollover accidents
- Bus wrecks
- Pedestrian strikes.
If you or a family member is injured by a distracted driver, it’s time to call an experienced Central Louisiana car accident injury lawyer to protect your family’s full compensation rights.
The Evidence on Distracted Driving is in. And it’s Undeniable.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, more than half of teen drivers use a cell phone while driving, and almost one in three admit to typing or sending a text message while driving in the past month.
When we adults hear about this, it’s hard not to scold young people and tell them how distracted driving is so dangerous and that they should never to do it again. But guess what — many of us are just as undisciplined as our kids, because we “multitask” behind the wheel too. Yes, we distracted grownup drivers are killing and seriously injuring just as many of our fellow drivers as our kiddos. Consider this:
The National Safety Council (NSC) says cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. Around 300,000 injuries occur annually from accidents caused by texting while driving. One out of every four accidents in the United States is caused by texting and driving.
Do you seriously think it’s just our kids who are causing all those crashes? But wait, there’s more.
- Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk, according to the Council.
- Distracted driving of only five seconds’ duration is enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles an hour…while DRIVING BLIND.
- 94 percent of drivers support a ban on texting while driving, and 74 percent of adult drivers support a ban on ANY hand-held cell phone use.
- Yet many drivers obviously still use their smartphones. Don’t you find that ironic?
Returning to the AAA survey, other interesting information has come out of the Association’s work, such as:
- Drivers spend more than half their time focused on things other than driving.
- Distraction contributes to more than 5,000 traffic fatalities each year.
- Texting and phone calls aren’t the only distractions. Passengers, eating, and in-car technologies (like infotainment centers – more on those in a bit) can also cause distractions.
- Distraction side-effects include what researchers call “latency.” Texting while waiting for a traffic light can delay a driver’s “full driving engagement” once the light turns green for an average of 27 seconds after the he or she stops texting. How many blinks of an eye is that? How many football fields?
Banning Phone Distractions Behind the Wheel, And What about Auto Infotainment Systems?
Debates continue when it comes to the role cell phones play in driver distraction. Just about all states discourage “Driving while Device-ing.” But they can’t agree on the degree to which the practice should be banned. So there are several.
- 14 states and four U.S. territories prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.
- 38 states (including Louisiana) ban all cell phone use by novice or teen drivers.
- 21 states also prohibit school bus drivers from any cell phone use at all.
- And 47 states, along with three U.S. territories, ban all drivers from text messaging!
And now there’s news that confirms another suspicion. Vehicle infotainment systems may also play a part in increasing distracted driving – again, according AAA. “A lot of tasks, like texting and navigation, have high visual demand,” explains David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah, which conducted the survey for AAA. He also helps us understand the three types of driver distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. “With visual, you’re taking your eyes off the road. Manual means taking your hands off the wheel; while cognitive distraction is essentially taking your mind off what you’re doing (and sensing) behind the wheel.”
Those defensive-driving courses that keep your auto insurance premiums down can come in handy now. Because with so many distracted drivers on the road, you must drive defensively just to survive! Watch the tires of a driver you suspect might be distracted. They’ll give you a second or so of warning that the driver is about to drift into your lane (or another). You must pay close attention and be prepared to respond if this vehicle becomes an unguided un-missile, piloted by a distracted driver – assuming you’re not driving distracted, too.
Chris J. Roy, Jr. APLC and his Alexandria and Central Louisiana distracted driving accident
legal team has a wealth of deep experience representing all sorts of car accident injury victims. The extensive investigative tools and experts at our disposal often uncover evidence of distracted driving and help make air-tight cases so the insurance companies HAVE to pay your rightful damages if you or a family member has been hit by a distracted driver. Contact Chris today at 318-487-9537 to arrange a free consultation. If you don’t collect, neither do we!