The rise in mobile technology use in recent years has changed the way that many people in the United States drive. Travelers rely on their cell phones not only to stay in touch with loved ones on the road, but also to receive turn-by-turn directions to their destinations. And while this technology has undoubtedly made some aspects of our lives easier, it has also introduced a significant threat on our nation’s roadways: distracted driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,092 people were killed and another 416,000 injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available. Nearly 18 percent of all crashes in 2010 involved a distracted driver.
Texting While Driving Can Be Deadly
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the immediate task of driving. Typical distracted driving behavior includes:
- Using a cell phone
- Eating and drinking
- Using a Global Positioning System (GPS) device
- Adjusting an MP3 player
Each one of these activities is dangerous because they require drivers to take their eyes off the road and, in some cases, their hands off the wheel. The most dangerous distracted driving behavior, however, is texting while driving. Texting is particularly pernicious because it requires the driver not only to divert his eyes from the road and remove his hands from the wheel, but also to direct his mind from the primary task of driving.
Problem Is Likely to Get Worse
Driver education, new technologies and increased enforcement of laws against texting while driving are important to eradicating the practice of distracted driving. The problem, however, is only likely to get worse in the next few years. According to a study cited by the NHTSA, more than 196 million text messages were sent or received in the United States in June 2011. This marked a 50 percent increase from just two years earlier.
A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help
If you or someone you love has suffered a serious injury in a car 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 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.