Have you ever driven a car while being significantly distracted? Think about it. Driving distractions come from many sources – checking a map for directions, wolfing down a meal between appointments, applying makeup, or yelling at your noisy kids in the back seat. Whether the roadway is a highway or a side street, distractions significantly increase the danger you pose to other drivers and pedestrians.
In recent years, distracted driving has been identified as a significant threat on our nation’s highways. Experts agree that the primary factor contributing to the increase in distracted driving is the widespread adoption of cell phones and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices. Indeed, although cell phone technology has made it easier for commuters to communicate with loved ones and travelers while reaching their destinations, it has also fed individuals’ needs to be connected at all times, even behind the wheel. Unfortunately, as new technologies are introduced, the problem is only likely to get worse.
Facts About Distracted Driving
According to statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,092 people were killed and an additional 419,000 people injured in distracted driving-related motor vehicle crashes in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available. These sorts of crashes accounted for approximately 18 percent of all car accidents that year.
The NHTSA defines distracted driving broadly to include any activity that causes a driver to divert his attention away from the primary task of driving. Eating, conversing with passengers, adjusting an MP3 player, and talking on a cell phone are all dangerous causes of distraction on the road.
Smart Phones Present Additional Causes of Distraction
Texting, however, has been further identified as a unique threat because the action requires not only a driver’s cognitive attention, but also his visual and manual attention. There is no higher level of distraction than this combination.
The prevalence of smart phones has resulted in a new distracted driving threat that requires the same sort of mental, manual and visual attention as texting: using the internet. According to a recent study by State Farm Insurance, approximately 43 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 reported using email and updating social network information while behind the wheel. This behavior is not, however, unique to younger drivers: 21 percent of all drivers surveyed, regardless of age, reported using the internet while driving. There is no doubt that the true percentage of users is higher.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can assess your case and help you get the fair and adequate compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. For more information about what an attorney can do for you, contact a lawyer today.