Distracted Drivers are a Leading Cause of Accidents Nationwide

Cell phone use is a commonly cited cause of car accidents

Deej Logan had a lot to look forward to. On the first day of school in 2012, Deej tried on several different outfits, eager to find the perfect one for the first day of senior year. Deej was quite the planner, and choosing her clothing was no exception—she even had her prom dress picked out, though the event was months away. After finally selecting the perfect outfit, she was ready to head to Byron High School in Byron, Minnesota.

Sadly, Deej would not make it to prom that year, or even attend the second day of her senior year.

On the way to school that morning, Deej decided to send a quick text to her friend. Before she finished the message, Deej slammed into a school bus that had stopped. Deej died due to injuries she sustained in the crash.

Deej’s tragic death is not a rarity. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people are killed and over 1,153 are injured every single day in the United States due to distracted drivers. That’s over 3,000 deaths and over 400,000 injuries that could easily be prevented.

Distracted drivers fall into three primary categories:

  • Cognitive: letting one’s mind wander while driving, failing to pay careful attention while driving
  • Manual: removing one’s hands from the steering wheel
  • Visual: failing to watch the road carefully

A driver who texts is the most dangerous type of distracted driver, because the driver is distracted in each of the three ways noted above. The driver is thinking about the text to type, is using his or her hands to type a response, and is looking at a cell phone screen instead of the road. As of December 2013, over 153 billion text messages had been transmitted in the United States every single month. In addition, 31% of drivers aged 18-64 admitted that they had read or sent texts or emails in the month prior to being surveyed. Clearly, texting and driving is a major concern in the United States, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries every year.

Texting, on average, causes drivers to remove their eyes from the road for at least five seconds. If you were traveling at 55 miles an hour while sending a text message, you would drive the entire length of a football field without having your eyes on the road. Would you get behind the wheel of a car, blindfold yourself, and drive this far?

Each of the individual states is responsible for creating its own traffic laws that prohibit distracted driving. In Tennessee, for example, bus drivers and novice drivers are prohibited from using cell phones at all. All drivers are banned from texting. If a driver violates one of these laws and causes an accident, the victim of the accident will likely be able to recover monetary damages, such as the cost of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Texting and driving is not the only cause of distracted driving accidents in the United States, of course. Using GPS navigation systems, talking through hands free devices, smoking, talking to passengers, and being distracted by external factors, such as road workers or accident scenes, all contribute to car crashes.

If you have been injured, or have lost a loved one due to the reckless actions of a distracted driver, you should seek legal representation as soon as possible to ensure your rights are protected. The Murfreesboro accident attorneys at Dotson & Taylor, Attorneys at Law have more than 35 years of combined experience and are familiar with the laws and ordinances in place that prohibit distracted driving.  They offer a free consultation and can be reached by calling (615) 890-1982 or contacting them online.