How dangerous is distracted driving?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 2,841 Americans were killed by distracted drivers in 2018. Of those fatalities, 2,335 were drivers or occupants of motor vehicles, 400 were pedestrians and 77 were bicyclists. The agency estimates that 10% of all fatal traffic accidents involve distracted drivers.
According to the CDC, there are three main types of distracted driving:
Visual distraction occurs when drivers take their eyes off the road, manual distraction occurs when drivers take their hands off the steering wheel and cognitive distraction occurs when drivers take their minds off of driving. These distractions can be caused by a variety of factors, including texting, eating and drinking and daydreaming.
Studies by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that many drivers have a “do as I say, not as I do” attitude regarding the dangers of distracted driving. For example, a 2013 study sponsored by the organization found that 83% of drivers believed that texting and driving was very risky. However, a large percentage of those drivers also admitted to sending or reading texts while behind the wheel. Safety experts say that drivers need to remember that it is never safe to engage in distracted behaviors while operating a vehicle.
Legal help for victims of distracted driving
Distracted driving victims may suffer severe injuries that leave them unable to work for an extended period of time. In order to recover medical costs and lost wages, it might be necessary for victims to file a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney could help prepare a victim’s claim and push for a fair settlement.