As car engineering has created improvements in car safety through mechanisms such as accident avoidance systems and rear cameras, what has not changed for the most part is the tendency of the human drivers behind the wheel to engage in careless and negligent behavior which, although avoidable, increases the risk of injury and death to themselves in others. There have always been some kind of distractions to drivers which take their attention away from safety, and in the past these might have focused on talking to another occupant, or fiddling with the car radio or map while driving, but drivers today are more distracted than ever. Our cell phones give us the ability to text our friends and family, check our email for that important update, see what’s happening on Facebook and social media sites, watch Youtube, and even actually call people on the phone. When all of those functions and more are in a driver’s hands at all times, the risk of death and injury to drivers and passengers skyrockets.
Distracted Driving Now Nearly Tied for Leading Cause of Accidents
The National Safety Council (NSC) collects data related to traffic accident throughout the United States, and, in recent years, distracted driving has continuously risen as a leading cause of accidents. The NSC’s 2016 study on safety on the road found that the three leading cause of accidents were:
- Alcohol/Impaired Driving (30.6%)
- Speeding (30%)
- Distracted Driving (26%)
In 2015, over 38,000 people died on U.S. roadways in accidents. The above statistic thus indicates that just over a quarter of those fatalities – or just under 10,000 deaths – involved distracted driving. To put that in perspective, that is over twice as many U.S. soldiers who died in the Iraq War which lasted for over eight years, and the deaths from distracted driving occur each and every year. And, perhaps worst of all, there is never a good reason to sacrifice road safety in favor of your cellphone or some other device, and so these deaths are unnecessary and preventable.
What to Do If You’ve Been in an Accident Involving Distracted Driving
As drivers, each and every one of us can pledge to avoid distracted driving, but unfortunately we cannot prevent what other drivers might do. If you are in a car accident, it may or may not be clear to you that the driver causing the accident was engaged in distracted driving when the accident occurred. That’s why it’s important to contact the police as soon as an accident occurs to have a full report written up, and to also begin working with an experienced auto accident attorney. By contacting a personal injury / wrongful death attorney as soon as possible, your attorney can begin investigating the facts of the accident (including the presence of distracted driving) and work towards a full recovery for all of your injuries through a settlement or verdict at trial.
With extensive experience in handling automobile personal injury cases, the Law Offices of Justin D. Brandel will fight to get you the maximum recovery for your injuries. If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, call now for a free consultation.