Despite efforts by public service groups and law enforcement organizations to raise public awareness, we continue to see the tragic consequences of distracted driving.
Distracted driving occurs anytime a motorist’s attention is diverted from their duties behind the wheel. Distractions can cause a driver to miss objects, events, and important driving clues, putting themselves and others at risk of a crash.
Distractions can be any one or more of the following three main forms:
Of all the different distractions we face every day, including adjusting GPS or radio, personal grooming, talking with other passengers, and eating or drinking, texting on a handheld cellular device is considered the most dangerous because it encompasses all three forms of distraction. In fact, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, at any given daylight moment, approximately 660,000 American drivers admit to using a cell phone or other electronic device while behind the wheel- a number which has held steady since 2010.
In 2014, the most recent year for which complete data is available, 3,179 people died in distracted driving car accidents, and an additional 431,000 were injured. The age group with the largest number of distracted drivers proportionally, is 15 to 19 year-olds. Ten percent of these drivers involved in deadly crashes were reportedly distracted at the time of the crash, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association.
Motorists in their 20s make up 23 percent of all drivers involved in fatal accidents. They also represent an astounding 27 percent of distracted drivers and 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were manipulating a cell phone at the time of their deadly crashes.
In 2014, the percentage of motorists texting or operating handheld electronic devices was 2.2 percent, an increase from 1.7 percent in 2013. The NHSTA also reports that since 2007, young drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have been noticed operating electronic devices at greater rates than drivers from other age groups.
Cell phones and electronic devices are not the only fatal forms of distraction, however. A 2015 distracted driving survey conducted by Erie Insurance reports that drivers perform all kinds of dangerous tasks behind the wheel, including changing clothes and performing personal hygiene. The same survey says that one-third of drivers admitted to texting while driving. Three-quarters of those drivers reported that they’ve witnessed other drivers texting.
On average, your eyes must be off the road for about 5 seconds to read a text message. At 55 mph, your vehicle will cover the length of a football field in those 5 seconds. Those 5 seconds could also forever alter your life, or the life of another person.
At the Fowler Law Firm, we know how devastating a car accident can be. When a defective product causes that car accident, you have a right to be compensated for your injuries and for damages. Call us at (970) 232-3322 today to find out how we can use our legal experience to help you recover maximum damages for your motorcycle accident injuries and related losses.