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Distracted Driving a Leading Cause of Car Accidents

The dangers of the road are indeed numerous. Even in good weather conditions, tons of steel, glass, fiberglass, and other materials and components all present potential hazards in the event of a collision. Nearly regardless of speed or size of the vehicles involved, tragedy can strike in an instant; and, that's really all it takes, an instant. It's the sad but truthful fact that distracted driving is driving-up road injuries and fatalities. Distracted driving is any activity which diverts a driver's attention from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger the driver, passengers, other vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Distracted Driving Driving-Up Road Injuries, Fatalities

Across the country, drivers enjoy all the benefits and conveniences of technology. Today, cars are essentially wheeled computers, capable of performing a number of essential and astounding features in just split seconds. While these many features are designed to make our ride safer and more enjoyable, it is the unsafe use of those features that unfortunately, can and have, changed the lives of so many in a split second. In February, the American Automobile Association, more commonly known as "Triple A", released unsettling research which revealed 87 percent of drivers surveyed admitted to distracted driving. These behaviors include texting, reading email, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting controls, and other mundane tasks. Though our vehicles make these fully available, it's these very tasks which can kill.

Distracted driving is very risky and is known to lead to fatal car crashes. NHTSA estimated in 2013 that distraction was a factor about 10 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes and 18 percent of all crashes causing injury. The exact toll is unknown because investigators often have difficulty measuring the extent to which driver distraction is a contributing factor in a crash. Wireless device records are usually only accessed in cases of death or serious injury. In less serious accidents, drivers may not admit fault and police may not always be able to discern the role of distraction. Methods of reporting are improving, but current estimates likely underestimate how frequently distraction causes crashes. --AAA Exchange

In 2014, there were 3,179 people killed in motor vehicle collisions involving distracted driving. Multiply that figure by 135.6, and it represents the number of people nationwide, 431,000, who were injured in car crashes involving distracted driving. Unfortunately, it's not just cars which are involved in many of these instances. Bicyclists, motorcyclists, and pedestrians have increasingly become frequent victims of distracted driving. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Facts, 4,735 pedestrians and 743 bicyclists were killed in crashes with motor vehicles in 2013. In fact, the state of California alone recorded 347 pedestrian deaths in 2015 -- that puts the Golden State in the unenviable number one spot.

The truth is, distracted driving is dangerous driving, regardless of how inconsequential or harmless checking a text or changing the radio might seem. The roadways across the country are crowded and busy, and, at any given moment, there are about 660,000 drivers who are actively using cell phones or making control adjustments, a sad statistic that has been a reality since 2010, according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey. When you're on the road, you should know that distracted driving is driving-up road injuries and fatalities.

About 70 percent of drivers admit to talking on a cell phone, which is among the most common unsafe vehicle operation behaviors. Although that percentage greatly drops when frequency of cell phone use is decreased, still, 31 percent of drivers engage in this behavior often or regularly. A full 42 percent of drivers report occasionally reading texts or emails while behind the wheel. According to Distraction.gov, as of December 2014, 169.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month. This presents a real danger because it only takes an average of five seconds to read a text. At a speed of 55 mph, that five seconds is enough to drive the length of a football field blindfolded, according to figures compiled by Distraction.gov.

If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of auto collision or other type of accident on the road, you need to speak with an experienced legal professional as soon as possible. From the moment the accident occurs, time is crucial and you cannot afford to waste one day. You need to learn about your legal rights and be advised as to any possible compensation available to you. Do not wait until it's too late, but take action right now.

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