Distracted driving: A Serious Epidemic

A recent summit was held in Washington, DC to call attention to the seriousness of distracted driving, and to find ways to reduce or eliminate distracted driving accidents. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood took part in the summit, which involved researchers, lawmakers, safety advocates, and auto makers.

Smart phones are making for dangerous driving conditions

Driving distractions are increasing at a daunting rate as technology improves. Research shows that distractions such as texting while driving have surpassed drunk driving as the most dangerous driving habit.

As smart phones get smarter it is easier to access the internet, email, sports scores, and networking applications. Drivers are becoming more preoccupied with multitasking and less concerned with driving safety, which can lead to serious traffic crashes.

It can all go wrong in the blink of an eye

Looking away from the road for only five seconds at highway speeds is enough time to travel the distance of an entire football field, leaving little time to react to any traffic situation. Everyone thinks that they can multitask appropriately, but that is truly not the case when operating a motor vehicle.

  • The University of Utah reported that using a cell phone, even a hands free device, while driving increases a driver’s reaction time the same amount as having a blood alcohol concentration of .08.
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 5,800 deaths and 515,000 injuries occurred last year from distracted driving incidents.
  • Virginia Tech recently conducted a study which discovered that truck drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident if they are texting.
  • Drivers are six times more likely to be involved in a collision while they are dialing a cell phone, reaching for their mobile phone, or adjusting the stereo.
  • Other dangerous driving habits that have been reported include playing video games, reading, applying make-up, and eating.
  • Research shows that last year more than 750,000 vehicles were operated each day by people using mobile phones.
  • Carnegie Mellon discovered that brain activity is reduced by 37 percent when driving while using a cell phone.

Victims of distracted drivers

There is already a law in place which bans Virginia drivers from texting while driving. If you were injured in a car accident because the other driver was not paying attention and you think they were distracted while operating their vehicle, you need an experienced lawyer to assist you in your case.

Distracted drivers are a danger to everyone on the road and you should not be subjected to hardship because of someone else’s negligence. Contact our firm for a no cost, no obligation evaluation of your case and we will work to get you justice and peace of mind.