Distracted driving is a national epidemic.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving results in more than 9 deaths and 1,153 injuries every day in the United States. In 2011, 17 percent of all car accidents resulting in injuries involved distracted driving.
These staggering numbers are on the rise as more and more drivers are making the choice to drive while they are distracted. The CDC reports that there are three major types of distractions which result in dangerous and distracted driving.
The first type is a visual distraction, or something that takes the driver’s eyes off the road. The second type is a manual distraction, or something that takes the driver’s hands off the wheel. Finally, the third type is a cognitive distraction, or something which takes the driver’s mind off of the driving task. In many cases all three of these distractions will occur at once. For instance if a driver is manually texting while driving, their hand will be off the wheel, their eyes will likely be shifting from the road to their phone and their mind will be primarily focusing on composing the text and not driving.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has echoed the findings of the CDC on distracted driving. The CHP recently took part in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which aims to raise awareness and education on the danger of distracted driving. As part of this education process, the CHP published a report that recognized distracted driving as the number cause of death for teens.
The CHP has also published more staggering statistics on distracted driving:
- Drivers are 23 times more likely to be in an accident if they text while driving
- It takes an average person 4.6 seconds to read or send a text – and the average accident occurs in less than 3 seconds
- 3 seconds of texting while driving at 65 MPH is equal to driving the length of a football field (100 yards)
The main focus of recent safety campaigns has been aimed at curbing texting while driving. However, a number of secondary activities can be distracting to drivers. This list includes: eating, putting on makeup, shaving, reaching for something in the back seat, reading, or performing any activity. The major focus on texting is due to the overall prevalence of this activity and because it is entirely preventable.
The National Safety Council is encouraging drivers to take the Focused Driver Challenge. The Challenge asks drivers to stop using their phones behind the wheel. Click here to take The Focused Driver Challenge Pledge.
If you or your loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, please contact the experienced San Diego personal injury attorneys at Martinez & Schill LLP. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced in determining causation in a particular car accident and may be able to offer insight into potentially culpable parties. We don’t get paid until we recover compensation on your behalf, so call today for a free consultation. San Diego 619-512-5995 or Riverside 951-200-4630.