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NHTSA Releases New Findings on Distracted Driving

On Thursday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced the lowest amount of annual traffic-related fatalities in over six decades. The data showed that in 2010, “highway deaths fell to 32,885 for the year, the lowest level since 1949.” Even though Americans traveled close to 46 billion more miles during 2010, the decline in traffic fatalities still occurred. This number shows our Illinois car accident attorneys that across the country, we are progressively making our roads and cars safer. Along with decrease in traffic-related fatalities, there has also been a decrease in DUI related accidents and pedestrian, motorcycle, truck accidents.

However, despite this good news, the study still raised concerns over the epidemic of distraction driving. Due to the overwhelming number of incidents involving distracted drivers, the NHTSA created a new crash category called “distraction-affected crashes.” Some distractions include cell phone use and the use of other technologies. Although as a nation we have worked together to reduce traffic-related fatalities, there is a lot that still needs to be done to limit the number of people killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents.

The distracted driving survey looked into driver behaviors and how drivers view distracted driving. ” It looked at into when people answer calls, and when people would and would not use their cell phone or text. Our Chicago auto accident attorneys encourage the NHTSA to continue these initiatives to end distracted driving through educating the public, new laws and enforcement, and through technological advancements in vehicle design. Over 75% of drivers surveyed would send a text message or answer their phone when driving, yet almost 100% of those surveyed said they would feel unsafe if they were a passenger in a car where the driver was texting or on the phone..

Our Illinois accident lawyers remind readers that any activity that takes your mind or eyes off the road can be considered to be distracted driving. This includes, texting, using a cellphone, eating, socializing with passengers, reading, watching a video, using technology such as GPS, grooming, or adjusting the music in the car. All of these distractions not only put the driver at risk, but they also risk the safety of passengers and others on the road. We hope that our readers will continue to help the decrease of roadway fatalities by avoiding these types, as well as other types, of distractions when on the road.