Distracted driving has been proven to be unsafe, but more and more drivers are driving distracted each year. Whether you are answering a text message while on the road or eating a cheeseburger in the car from your favorite fast food drive-through, you cannot drive safely without keeping your attention fully focused on the road ahead.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is considered to be any activity that takes the driver’s attention away from driving, including talking on the phone, eating and drinking, turning to talk to people in the car, interacting with the entertainment system on the dash, or anything else that divides your attention between driving and something else.
Distracted driving is divided into three categories:
- Visual, when the driver takes their eyes off the road.
- Manual, when the driver takes their hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive, when the driver takes their mind off of driving.
The scariest part of driving while distracted is just how significantly it diminishes the amount of time you have to react to changes on the road. Just sending or reading a text message can take your eyes off the road ahead for five seconds or more. If on the highway driving 60 mph, in those five seconds your car will cover the length of an entire football field all with your eyes on the phone. No one can drive safely unless they are driving without distractions. All types of distracted driving increase the risk of a serious car crash.
Current Distracted Driving Statistics
- According to the National Highway Traffic Administration, in 2018 alone there were 2,841 deaths directly correlated to distracted driving. This means that every day approximately eight people die from car crashes involving a distracted driver.
- Approximately 400,000 people nationwide are injured each year in distracted driving accidents.
- According to the Texas Department of Transportation, in 2019 there were 103,312 car crashes involving distracted driving, with 356 Texans losing their lives.
- 21% of teens involved a car accident are distracted by cell phones while driving.
- Parents with young children are more likely to be distracted while driving when compared to adults driving without children in the car.
- The majority of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving were caused by drivers under 30 years old using a cell phone at the time of the incident.
- In a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, data indicated that drivers ages 19 to 24 were more likely to write a text while driving.
- In that same study, 88% of young millennials admit to participating in some form of risky behavior (texting and driving, not stopping at a red light, speeding, etc.) while driving within the 30 days before the study was conducted.
- The most common reasons that drivers engage in distracting driving by responding to a text message or e-mail include: the message being “important,” the message being work-related, the message being personal or social, or the driver needing directions.
- Texting and driving doubles the chances of getting into any kind of accident. It triples the chances of being involved in a car accident where a vehicle leaves the road and crashes into a tree, hits a sign, or strikes another object off the road. Lastly, a driver who is texting while driving is seven times more likely to rear-end the car in front of them.
Weslaco Car Accident Attorneys
Car accidents caused by a distracted driver can be very frustrating, confusing, and stressful, but victims don’t have to handle it by themselves. By selecting knowledgeable legal representation, the injured won’t have to worry as much about their next steps. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact the South Texas car accident lawyers at Ezequiel Reyna, Jr. Law Office today to discuss your case. There is limited time to act following a motor vehicle accident in Texas, so don’t delay.