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Distracted Driving – A Real Danger

September 24 2016 | Auto Accidents, Blog
  • Kentucky Car Accidental Injury Attorney

     

    Everyone has experienced that moment of panic when they see someone swerving between lanes in a high-speed vehicle. Maybe you’ve been the driver who momentarily takes their attention from the road while texting or engaging in other distracting activities. Recent data has shown a growing trend in fatal traffic accidents caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving is highly dangerous, and Hughes & Coleman want you to stay safe as possible while driving.

    Types of Distraction

    Due to the rising rate of traffic-related fatalities, the Centers for Disease Control has actually published a report on the topic of distracted driving. The CDC identifies three different types of distraction for drivers:

    • Visual, which involves taking your visual attention off of the road
    • Manual, which is defined as removing your hands from the wheel
    • Cognitive, which occurs when you allow your mind to wander from the task of driving

    Many activities fall under the umbrella of these categories. The major activities include talking on a cellular device, texting, eating and using onboard technology like navigation systems. The CDC identifies texting as the most hazardous form of these activities because it combines all three categories of distraction.

    The Magnitude of the Problem

    The CDC reports that 3,154 people were killed in accidents in which at least one of the drivers was distracted during the 2013 year. In the same year, 424,000 individuals were injured in collisions involving a distracted driver. In the present year, the death toll from traffic accidents has risen to 19,000 across the nation, and a large portion of these deaths are attributed to crashes involving distracted driving.

    What Are the Impacts of Distracting Activities?

    Texting causes the driver to take their attention from the road with greater frequency and for longer time spans than most other distractions. If you’re moving at 55 mph, the average text causes you to remove your eyes from the road long enough for your car to travel the length of a football field. A quick brake from the car in front of you while you’re texting could cause you to crash into their backside, creating a potentially fatal situation.

    Sadly, the youth suffer the most from distracted driving. Individuals under the age of 20 have the greatest proportion of fatal crashes related to distracted driving. A report by The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System produced some startling figures:

    • During 2013, two out of every five high school drivers claimed to have sent a text or email while driving within the past 30 days.
    • High schoolers who report their tendency to text while driving are also two times as likely to get into a car with a drunk driver.
    • High school students who text more frequently while driving than those who text less frequently are also more likely to ride with a drunk driver or drink and drive.

     

    What Can Be Done?

    Many states have passed laws banning texting while driving, and many laws fine drivers for distracted behaviors while driving. Currently, the efficacy of such legislation is unknown without further study and more data.

     

    Hughes & Coleman Want You to Be Safe Behind the Wheel

    Your life is too precious to risk by engaging in distracting activities while driving. Make sure you keep your attention on the road and be aware of the drivers around you. Contact us today to learn what Hughes & Coleman, Injury Lawyers, can do for you.

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