To knowingly participate in behavior known to be both dangerous and illegal seems foolish in the extreme. And yet, despite years of public campaigns and state legislations, motorists from California to Connecticut continue to drive distracted.
How common is distracted driving?
The answer is: it is so common, distracted driving has its own government website. Despite laws combatting distracted driving, including the banning of texting and driving in 46 states, it still happens alarmingly often. According to a survey conducted in 2015, approximately 33 percent of drivers admit to texting while behind the wheel.
In fact, it is estimated that at any given time as many as 660,000 drivers are using a handheld electronic device while driving in this country. That number remains virtually unchanged since 2010.
Young drivers are most likely to be involved in distracted driving accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of all young drivers (15-19 years old) involved in fatal collisions were distracted at the time of the accidents. That is the highest proportion relative to the size of the group among all demographic divisions.
Additionally, motorists between 20-29 years of age make up 27 percent of distracted drivers in fatal accidents, and 38 percent of drivers who were using a cell phone at the time of a crash causing death. Given their penchant for using electronic devices, it is perhaps not surprising that drivers ages 16 to 24 are more frequently seen using such devices while operating a vehicle than are older drivers.
Is Distracted driving the biggest threat on the roadways today?
Distracted driving is taking over from impaired driving as the leading cause of accidents in the United States. In 2014, distracted driving accidents injured 431,000 people. A further 3,179 people were killed in collisions involving a distracted driver.
All types of serious injuries may be sustained in a distracted driving crash including:
- Broken bones
- Lost limbs, and/or other extremities
- Damage to internal organs
- Brain/head injuries
- Loss of life
Distracted driver victims should focus on recovery
If you’ve been hurt in a collision with a distracted driver, it is important for you to concern yourself first and foremost with getting better. Insurance and legal matters can be distracting and distressing to both you and your family.
Fortunately, there are caring and experienced lawyers available who know the Orange County region and are ready to assist those in need of legal assistance and support. Professionals from a family-run and victim-focused firm can help seek justice and compensation on your behalf after a serious accident.