Authored by: Gray, Ritter & Graham, P.C. posted in Auto Accidents on Monday, April 11, 2016.
April showers may bring May flowers, but some use the first full month of spring to bring forth reminders of the deaths and serious injuries caused by distracted drivers.
The National Safety Council has deemed April “Distracted Driving Awareness Month.” According to the organization, cell phone use is the leading distraction for drivers. The federal government reports that over 3,000 people were killed in an accident involving a distracted driver in 2014, the most recent reporting year.
The NSC contends there’s not an effective way to consistently determine when cell phones are linked to fatal car accidents, and not all drivers admit to using them, so this type of accident is surely under-reported.
But there are scientific studies that reinforce just how dangerous drivers using cell phones can be.
Drivers on Cell Phone Three Times More Likely to Crash
A 2013 study by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute monitored the cell phone usage of 204 drivers over 31 days. Researchers found that crash risk tripled when a driver reached for, answered or dialed a cell phone. This same research showed:
· Drivers texting took their eyes off the road for an average of 23 seconds
· Texting doubled the risk of a motor vehicle crash or near-crash
· 28 percent of calls and 10 percent of texts recorded in the study were done while driving
Distracted Drivers also Engage in Other Dangerous Behaviors
A study that same year conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that drivers on cell phones are more likely to do other dangerous things while behind the wheel, such as speeding or driving drowsy.
Researchers from Detroit’s Wayne State University conducted a study involving men and women texting while using driving simulators. The results, reported in 2015, found that two-thirds of the texting subjects at some point went out of their lane into oncoming traffic or onto the shoulder. None of the drivers were found to do so when not texting.
Despite hard evidence and educational efforts like “Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” a good portion of car and truck drivers still engage in irresponsible behaviors that pose great risk to others. Anyone who lost a loved one or who was severely injured in a crash caused by a reckless distracted driver should consult an attorney who represents victims of catastrophic motor vehicle accidents.
The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertising.