Alarming Distracted Driving Statistics
In 2011 and 2012, the number of fatalities caused by distracted driving in the United States exceeded 3,300. And in 2013 alone, those numbers increased to 3,154. As cell phone usage and mobile devices become a deep rooted part of our everyday lives these numbers continue to increase at an exponential rate.
According to recent government statistics, texting while driving is one of the chief causes of vehicular-related accidents. Research shows that texting requires the driver to divert his or her eyes from the road for an estimated five seconds at a minimum. This five second intermission from the road can add up to a distance of about 100 yards if the driver is driving at 55 mph speed. In other words, this five-second interval of distracted driving can be fatal. There are numerous other distractions that can cause collisions as well including but not limited to dialing, inputting navigation destinations, passenger-related distractions, etc.
Statistics show that 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in serious and fatal vehicle accidents are distracted by texting. In 2011, approximately 23% of all accidents nationwide were caused while the driver was on a cellphone or mobile device. Now that virtually everyone has a cellphone, teenagers are not the only ones to blame. Adults are also overlooking safe driving practices. What they may fail to realize is that, by showing these hazardous procedures in the presence of children and young teens, they will eventually follow suit.
Car manufactures are now taking preventative measures into their own hands. Most new vehicles are now equipped with navigation and infotainment systems that allow for hands-free adjustments transmitted through Bluetooth technology. One of the key features includes a voice recognition system that allows for hands free calls. In addition, the navigation systems are often programmed to exchange dialogue with drivers to guide them safely to their destination without the driver having to take their hands off the road. The infotainment and hands-free communication systems are only great safety features if they are used correctly. Therefore, it is still imperative that drivers concentrate on the road even while instructing these systems.
Other helpful standard-equipped features now include rearview cameras that allow the driver to view the screen only when backing up or checking rear cross traffic while the car is stopped. The screen should be always be in the “off” when driving forward.
If your vehicle does not have these newer systems, we strongly advise you to pull off the road for any and all cellphone or mobile device usage in addition to other distractions.
Remember that defensive driving involves a strong focus on the road to recognize other driver’s mishaps and enable the driver to take preventative measures.
Take the Pledge.
Teens learning how to drive are encouraged to take the pledge not to text or email while driving. They are asked to fill out a pledge form after watching films of fatal crashes caused by distracted, texting drivers.
We strongly encourage adults to take the pledge too.
At Chad West Law, we know that even the most careful drivers can still find themselves in a collision. Always remember that full concentration on the road is essential while you are behind the wheel. In the event that you are involved in a traffic accident, please contact Chad West, your Dallas personal injury attorney.