Distracted Driving Can Be Disastrous or Deadly
Consider this—the average time taken to look at a text message or send email on your phone (while driving) is 5 seconds. If you’re on the highway traveling at 70 miles per hour, that’s over 100 feet per second…that means you’ve taken your eyes off the road for the length of nearly two football fields! Not surprisingly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that about one in every 12 fatal crashes nationwide in 2019 involved a distracted driver. That’s more than 3,100 deaths on American roadways because drivers took their focus off the road. Pedestrians and bicyclists are at an even greater risk—approximately 20% of the traffic fatalities caused by distracted drivers in 2018 involving people not traveling in a vehicle. Additionally, younger drivers are far more likely to engage in distracted driving—teens behind the wheel are three times more likely to cause the death of another person because of distracted driving. Furthermore, distracted driving is a factor in nearly 60% of motor vehicle accidents involving teenagers.
Other Troubling Statistics Related to Distracted Driving
According to EndDD.org, a project of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, distracted driving accidents are significantly underreported in the United States. EndDD.org cites data from the National Safety Council, indicating that more than a quarter of all motor vehicle accidents in 2015 were caused by a distracted driver. Other research suggests that more than a third of all trips in the United States involve some level of distracted driving at some point.
The Different Types of Distractions for Drivers
Behavioral experts say there are three basic ways that people can be distracted while driving:
- Visual distractions – Those things that take your eyes away from the road. Visual distractions can come in many forms:
- Looking at the screen of a cellphone or other handheld device, including a GPS device
- Grooming yourself in the rearview mirror
- Changing the station or volume on the car radio
- Turning your attention to a passenger in your vehicle
- Taking in a roadside attraction
- Looking for something on the seat or floor of the car
- Reading a map or other document while driving
- Manual distractions – Those actions that cause you to take your hands off the wheel:
- Using a cellphone or handheld device
- Reaching for something on the floor or the seat, or in the glovebox
- Grooming yourself while driving
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Smoking while driving
- Cognitive distractions – When you lose mental focus on the roadway:
- A handheld device or cellphone can have you thinking about a text message, email or other communication, instead of the traffic around you.
- Sometimes music can cause you not to pay attention to the road in front of you.
Some Strategies for Minimizing the Risk of a Distracted Driving Accident
Obviously, the simplest advice is to pay attention, but that can be easier said than done. Here are some other tips:
- Turn your phone off when you get behind the wheel—People drove cars without phones in them for a very long time. It can be done.
- Install an app on your phone that blocks calls, text messages, and other communications while you are driving.
- Turn your phone over to a passenger when you get behind the wheel.
- Know where you’re going before you get on the road.
- When riding as a passenger, ask that the driver not use their phone.
- If you absolutely have to take or make a call, pull off the road to do so.
Contact the Experienced Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we know the impact that a personal injury can have on every area of your life. If you have suffered an injury in a motor vehicle accident, send us an e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.