Distracted driving car accidents are an epidemic. More than 10% of all fatal crashes involving individuals under the age of 20 are reported as being caused by a distracted driver. The United States Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 421,000 additional people are injured every year in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. This number has been steadily rising, and that is a cause for serious concern, as the technology that often causes these crashes will only get more pervasive.
Distracted driving is a term used for any type of activity that has the potential to divert a driver’s attention away from operating their automobile while on the road. This can include actions like using a cell phone, grooming, using a navigation system, watching a video, adjusting music, eating and drinking, or even talking with passengers. All of these behaviors are dangerous, but because of the fact that drivers must use visual, manual, and cognitive attention to send text messages, it is likely the most dangerous distraction of all. According to statistics from this time last year, 171.3 billion text messages were sent and received in the United States on a monthly basis, and at any moment, roughly 660,000 motorists nationwide are using their cell phones or electric devices while driving. Sending or reading a text message takes a driver’s attention away from the road for nearly 5 seconds each time, and while this doesn’t sound like much, at 55 miles per hour that is enough time to drive the entire length of a football field, completely blind.
As you might expect, cell phone usage while driving is especially prevalent amount 15-19 year old drivers, and this mix of inexperience and inattention can be deadly. If you have children who are new drivers educate them on the importance of minimizing distractions, and remember to always do so yourself to set a good example. (Distraction.gov)
In our state not texting while driving isn’t just a suggestion, it’s the law. As Illinois car accident lawyers, we have seen the deleterious affects of distracted driving, and we know how painful the aftermath of these injuries and fatalities can be for individuals and their families. Car accidents come with significant medical bills and insurance costs, and many people are unable to continue working because of their injuries. Our attorneys are committed to helping those who have suffered bodily harm or loss of life because of the carelessness of others, and if you think you may have a case, please call us for a free consultation to explore your legal options.