Distracted Driving: A Troubling Nationwide Trend

texting while driving

Distracted driving has been around as long as cars, but it’s become a much bigger problem in recent years because of the increasing popularity of devices such as cell phones, GPS units, and tablets. You’re considered a distracted driver if you’re doing anything that takes your attention away from driving, such as texting, eating, adjusting the radio, calming your children in the backseat, using a GPS or changing the radio station. This dangerous behavior is popping up in auto accidents all across the United States, and this is one troubling trend that appears to be getting worse.

The Grim Statistics:

According to Distraction.gov, the official US government website for distracted driving, 3,179 people died and 431,000 were hurt in auto accidents involving a distracted driver in just 2014 alone. This has led to laws being enacted all across the country to combat distracted driving, including New Mexico’s passage of a statewide ban on texting and talking while driving back in 2014.

Cell phone use is a particularly bad problem, representing the behavior of 38% of drivers in their 20s who were involved in fatal accidents. Despite the increased awareness of the public about the dangers of phone use and driving, the pattern is still holding — the US Department of Transportation estimates that during any given day, around 660,000 Americans are using their phone or handling an electronic device when they’re behind the wheel.

Even if someone is engaging in a distraction behavior while they’re stopped, it can still hurt their reaction time when they start to drive again. The Foundation for Traffic Safety reports that if a person at a red light sends a text, their engagement in driving is impacted for an estimated 27 seconds after they’ve stopped texting and started moving again.

Have you been in a distracted driving accident?

If you or someone you care about has been injured in an accident with a distracted driver, you have options. You may be entitled to compensation for your pain, suffering, and losses, which include medical costs and the time missed at work. At Parnall Law Firm, we’ve been fighting to make sure the voices of victims get heard. Call today for your free initial consultation.