We’ve all heard the term “distracted driving” as well as the warnings about the dangers associated with distracted driving. Most people, however, don’t truly realize how serious the dangers are and how many accidents and deaths are actually caused each year by distracted driving. The statistics are staggering.
Distracted driving covers a variety of circumstances. As the name implies, anything that takes the driver’s attention off the road or her hands off the wheel falls under the category of distracted driving. Common examples of distracted driving situations include talking on a cell phone, talking to other passengers in the vehicle, texting while driving, eating or drinking, grooming, reading a map (whether it’s a paper map or found on a handheld device), looking at another accident or changing the radio station, mp3 player or video in the vehicle.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), twenty percent of all crashes during the year 2009 were caused, at least in part, by distracted driving. Considering the fact that there are an average of about 7 million car crashes in the United States each year that means that almost 1.5 million accidents each year are the result of distracted driving. During that same year, 5,474 people were fatally injured in car crashes that were a direct result of distracted driving. Why is distracted driving to blame in so many accidents? The bottom line is that those few seconds that a driver’s eyes are off the road or hands off the wheel can be all it takes to cause a serious accident. To put the issue in perspective, studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving can delay a driver’s reaction just as much as if she had a blood-alcohol level of .08 – enough to be considered driving drunk in most states.
While teenagers are by far the largest group at risk for driving while distracted, older drivers are not immune. A full one quarter of older drivers admit to using hand-held devices while driving as well. Older drivers are also just as likely to be eating, drinking or talking to passengers as younger drivers. The risks of distracted driving clearly span the generations.
Driving while distracted can be considered negligence if the driver causes an accident as a result. If you have been injured in a car accident and you believe the other driver was doing something that would be considered driving while distracted then you may have the basis for a personal injury accident case. If the other driver is ultimately found to have been negligent then you may receive compensation for the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident.
The best way to determine what your legal options are is to have your case evaluated by an experienced personal injury attorney. The team at the personal injury firm of Ledger & Associates offers a free and detailed evaluation of your case, To schedule your appointment, contact the team at 1-800-300-0001 or visit them online at www.ledgerlaw.com for more information.