October 3, 2015 | Blog
Vehicle crashes happen every day; we read about them online, in newspapers and magazines and hear about them when we watch the news. What you may not realize is that more and more, crashes are the result of distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as, “inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention away from the driving task to focus on another activity instead”. In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in vehicle crashes involving distracted driving and approximately 424,000 were injured. AAA now says that distracted driving accounts for 25-50 percent of all accidents.
Recently in Syracuse, IN, the news highlighted a story about a woman who leapt out of her car because she discovered a spider. (http://fox59.com/2015/09/21/woman-leaps-from-moving-car-after-spotting-spider/) The woman jumped from her moving car, leaving her nine year-old son and causing the car to crash into a school bus after the child attempted to stop the car. Her son suffered minor head injuries. Just last week on social media, I read two posts which also illustrated the extremes of inattentive driving. One mom, who was driving down the road with her children in the car, noticed a person in front of her driving erraticly; when she was able to safely pass the car she saw that the woman was knitting, while driving. Another person posted that while driving down the highway he noticed the lady in the lane next to him was not only talking on her cell phone while she was driving, and also eating a bowl of cereal.
These are just a few examples of what is becoming a serious problem on the roads. According to government statistics, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while driving. Although you may not realize it, reading a text while driving distracts you for an average of five seconds. When traveling at just 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded. (http://www.distraction.gov/stats-research-laws/facts-and-statistics.html)
The best way to end driver distraction is to educate every driver on the serious danger that it poses. According to the CDC, every day in the US more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. In a CDC study, 69% of US drivers reported they talked on their cell phones while driving and 31% reported they had texted or emailed while they were behind the wheel. (https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/) Please know the facts and let’s work together to eliminate distracted driving. However, if you have been injured as the result of someone’s inattentive driving, please contact us and we can help.