There are countless ways that drivers become distracted, ultimately endangering all other drivers and passengers sharing the street or highway. The types of distractions that are most common include the following:
- Sending or reading text messages
- Talking or answering a cell phone
- Eating or drinking
- Talking with others in the vehicle
- Putting on makeup
- Adjusting the controls in the vehicle for radio or other system
- Adjusting navigation system or reading maps
These actions are all extremely dangerous, and the number of distracted driving accidents has continued to rise since the advent of the smart phone. The fact that many people are obsessed with their devices and simply cannot wait until they come to a stop to read or send a message, or answer a call has brought the situation to a crisis level. The numbers of text messages being sent are staggering, at more than 180 billion in our country and its territories in just one year.
The statistics regarding injury accidents and texting are also horrifying, and every driver must now be on high alert, as currently 10% of drivers under 20 involved in fatal accidents were distracted at the time that the accident occurred. Young drivers (those in their 20's) make up the largest percentage of distracted drivers involved in fatal injury accidents, standing at close to 30% nationwide.
During daylight hours, it is estimated that 660,000 drivers are using a digital device such as a cell phone while behind the wheel, or engaged in some activity involving an electronic device. The task at hand, which is operating a vehicle safely, is badly compromised when the driver is focused on something other than the road ahead. In fact, it is estimated that the use of cellphones and other digital devices increases the potential of getting into an auto collision 3 times. When travelling at a fairly conservative speed, 55 mph, in only 5 seconds the vehicle will have travelled the length of a football field – with little or no attention on potential hazards, road conditions, other vehicles or other risks or dangers ahead.
Laws are in place to protect us against distracted drivers, but these laws mean almost nothing when a loved one has been seriously injured or killed, or we ourselves are suffering the consequences of distracted driving. Your options to seek justice include filing a lawsuit or insurance claim against the negligent driver. These claims seek compensation for all damages, including property loss, medical costs, loss of income from work and future estimated financial losses, as well as pain and suffering.
Find out more about distracted driving accidents by contacting our firm, Cicchiello & Cicchiello, LLP. We have over 40 years of combined experience, and we have recovered millions in damages for the injured and their families over our years in practice.