Drive Distraction Free!

Drive Distraction Free!

Have you ever glanced down to read a text on your cell phone while driving, and when you looked up, found that you had drifted across the center lane? Have you ever just barely avoided bumping the car in front of you while you reading an email or looking up a phone number to make a call while driving? If so, you are among the increasing number of distracted drivers.

Responsible driving involves being proactive and trying to anticipate unexpected behaviors of others. The ability to do so becomes diminished when a driver is distracted, and distracted driving can result in many unintentional personal injuries.

Distracted driving happens all the time and takes many forms, such as adjusting the volume or tuner on a radio, following driving directions, putting on makeup, styling hair, or reading a newspaper. None of these are new or shocking to most of us. Nor is it surprising that with the significant increases in cell phone use, accidents caused by using a cell phone while driving is beginning to become a common form of distracted driving.

Up until recently there was not a lot of data available regarding the dangers of using a cell phone while driving. It was suspected to be the root cause of many accidents, yet not always proven. In the mid-2000’s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, along with independent state agencies, universities and other organizations began to conduct their own studies to determine what the true impact was. The findings were exceptionally concerning.

General Statistics

• Talking on a cell phone can drastically decrease a driver’s response time as much as a driver that has a blood alcohol content of.08 or higher.

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• Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.

• It can take up to 5 seconds to respond to a text while driving. During this time, one can travel the length of a football field.

• Studies have shown that an individual who is texting while driving is 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident.

• Approximately 40% of passengers have claimed that the driver put themselves or others at risk due to cell phone use while driving.

• Despite state driving restrictions placed on cell phone use, many individuals do not comply with new laws. In other words, just because a law is passed, do not assume those around you are adhering to it!

• Although the majority of drivers reportedly are opposed to the use of cell phones while driving, more than one third do so routinely.

Of the accidents that occur due to cell phone usage, one might assume that the majority are caused by teenagers and younger adults. You may be surprised to learn that, across the board, all age groups have reported an increase in cell phone use while driving, and have, as a result, been involved in accidents.

Teens / Young Adults

• Almost half of young adults ages 18-24 admit to texting while driving.

• Almost one quarter of teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 have been involved in a fatal car crash while talking on their phone or texting while driving. This number is expected to increase by up to 4% each year.

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• Adults are as likely as teens to text while driving and a higher percentage have made calls while driving.

• 25% of car accidents are caused by adults who are talking on a cell phone.

• Adult drivers who use cell phones while driving are up to 4 times as likely to be involved in an accident.

While many accidents are not fatal, injuries can be extensive. Some of the most common injuries are associated with automobile accidents are related to the back and neck. “Whiplash” can occur when an individual is involved in a rear-end collision and their neck is whipped forward and backward in rapid succession. This type of accident can also result in damage to the spine and can take the form of swelling and pain. More serious accidents can cause the discs in the vertebrae to become ruptured. Other bodily injuries may also occur from the accident.

If you have sustained an injury in an automobile accident, you should immediately obtain a thorough medical examination to determine the extent of your injuries, both short-term and long-term. If it is found that your injury is due to distracted driving by another driver, contact your local personal injury lawyer to determine if you are eligible for restitution for your medical and financial expenses.