New Technologies Lead to New Risks on the Road

Twenty years ago, drunk driving and drowsy driving were two of the biggest threats on our nation’s highways. Though those threats still exist today, distracted driving has emerged as a serious safety concern with the recent proliferation of smart phones and Global Positioning System (GPS) devices.Startling Statistics

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,092 people were killed and an additional 419,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents involving distracted drivers in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available. Crashes involving distracted drivers represented approximately 18 percent of all motor vehicle accidents that year.

Unfortunately, distracted driving is not likely to disappear as a concern any time soon. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

  • Approximately 15 people are killed each day in car accidents involving distracted drivers
  • Approximately 1200 people are injured each day in car accidents involving distracted drivers
  • Over 50 percent of all drivers between the ages of 18 and 29 say that they use their cell phones while driving
  • Overall, texting while driving makes drivers 23 times more likely to be in an accident

Texting Is Not the Only Problem

Any activity that causes a driver to divert his attention from the primary task of driving can be dangerous. This includes not only texting, but also eating, talking to passengers, adjusting a stereo or reading a GPS system. What makes texting while driving particularly dangerous is that it requires a driver not only to remove his hands from the wheel and his eyes from the road, but also and his attention from what he is doing.

Although some experts have recommended hands-free devices as a safe, responsible alternative to hand-held cell phone use while driving, research indicates that these devices are just as dangerous. A recent study from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, for example, examined drivers’ ability to navigate a closed course while using hands-free devices to receive and send text messages and emails. They discovered that these drivers performed just as poorly as those drivers who used their cell phones. The act of composing even a simple message requires enough of a driver’s attention to negatively impact his ability to control his vehicle.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury in a motor vehicle accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the fair and adequate compensation you deserve for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. For more information about what a personal injury attorney can do for you, contact a lawyer today.