Distracted driving refers to any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road. This practice leads to several preventable accidents every day. Below are some recent statistics of distracted driving.
- Distracted driving kills 9 people every day in the United States (CDC).
- In 2015, distracted drivers caused 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes (NHTSA).
- It only takes 3 seconds after a driver looks away from the road for an accident to occur (FMCSA).
- Distracted drivers killed 3,477 people in 2015 (NHTSA).
- 58% of crashes with teen drivers involve distracted driving (AAA).
- 391,000 people suffered injuries in crashes with distracted drivers in 2015 (NHTSA).
- The fatal crash rate for teens involved in distracted driving crashes is 3 times higher than it is for adult drivers (IIHS).
What Types of Driver Distractions Are Common?
Experts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) can boil down the cause of distracted driving crashes to three main distraction factors:
- Visual tasks – These actions involve a driver taking their eyes off the road. Examples include looking at a cell phone, looking in the back seat to check on children, or reading directions on a phone screen.
- Manual tasks – These involve taking the hands off a steering wheel; for example, reaching for food or drink or texting on a cell phone.
- Cognitive tasks – These actions cause a driver’s mind to wander, focusing on something other than the road. Examples include daydreaming, stressing about an outside factor, or becoming distracted by loud children in the backseat.
What Contributes to Distracted Driving?
Certain actions and scenarios contribute to distracted driving at higher rates than others do.
- Teen drivers with an additional passenger are twice as likely to get into a fatal accident. The presence of two or more passengers raises the risk to five times as likely (AAA).
- 10% of fatal crashes in 2015 involved the use of a cell phone (NHTSA).
- Children are 12 times more distracting to a driver than talking on a cell phone (Monash University).
What Happens If a Distracted Driver Injures You?
If you get into a collision with a distracted driver, you can experience life-threatening injuries that require expensive medical treatment. You could face weeks or even months of recovery time, keeping you out of work and school. The other driver could damage your car beyond repair, or worse, you could lose a loved one in the crash. In these cases, it is important to seek legal help.
The attorneys at Ginnis, Krathen, & Zelnick, P.A. have experience in multiple areas of personal injury law, including distracted driver cases. Contact Ginnis & Krathen today to schedule a free consultation at our Fort Lauderdale office.