Distracted driving is considered to be a contributing factor in a large number of accidents. For example, in 2015 alone, distracted driving was reported as being a leading factor in accidents that killed almost 3,500 people, which represents 9.8 percent of all fatalities; however, many instances may not be reported.
Texting and phone usage are two of the common distractions blamed for accidents. Many local jurisdictions and states are actively passing laws to help address these actions, but the general message is the same – avoid distractions of all types while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, this isn’t a message that is resonating well with the general public.
A Closer Look at Distracted Driving
While distracted driving is extremely risky and known for causing fatal car accidents, many people still don’t understand the full scope of this problem. Distracted driving was a factor in approximately 10 percent of all fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2012 and in 2015 this number had increased to 23 percent. Unfortunately, this is a trend that experts believe is going to continue to increase unless serious action by lawmakers and police are taken.
According to information from the AAA Foundation of Traffic Safety, if a driver takes their eyes off of the road for just two seconds, it doubles their risk of being involved in an accident. Also, even though drivers understand the risk associated with distracted driving, they still willingly engage in in regularly while behind the wheel. In fact, 83 percent of people who responded to the study stated that texting and driving and 58 percent rated cell phone usage very serious threats to their safety; however, a large percentage also admitted to engaging in these activities while driving in the previous month. Additionally, 88 percent of people stated that distracted driving was a much bigger problem today than it was just three years ago.
Hands Free Phone Usage is Not a Better Option
There are some who thing that using a hands free phones is a safer option than a handheld one. However, there have been several research studies that have concluded that hands free phones don’t offer any significant safety benefits over handheld ones. There are some states that have made laws that ban the use of handheld devices, but allow hands free ones, which only confuses the subject further.
In addition to phones, there are other forms of distracted driving that are just as dangerous. Anything that takes a person’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel or mind off what they are doing can pose a serious threat and increase the risk of an accident. If you are ever injured in an accident with a distracted driver, it is imperative to contact a personal injury attorney for help. They can review the facts of your case and determine whether or not you have the right to recover compensation for your injuries.