Driving Distracted – A Threat to the Safety of Everyone on the Road

Posted by on Apr 15, 2016 in Automobile Accidents | 0 comments

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2014 report on car crashes showed 30,057 fatalities, the least number of deaths in car accidents probably since the 1970s. While there have been accidents which were due to factors that are beyond the control of drivers, such as defective car or car parts or defective or poorly maintained roads, highways and bridges, both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) of the NHTSA hold that 90% of all road crashes can be blamed on drivers.

These  road crashes are consequences of bad road behavior, a number of which are driving recklessly, driving above the set speed limit or driving too fast for road conditions, driving while impaired (by alcohol, illegal drug or prescription/over-the-counter drugs), making improper lane changes, tailgating, ignoring traffic signs and signals, not focusing on the road, and allowing oneself to be distracted while behind the wheel.

Since 2012, distracted driving, particularly involving cell phone use, has remained to be the worst form of driving distraction in the US. Distractions while behind the wheel take many forms, so many of which have even become unnoticed or have become too common that drivers no longer consider them as distractions. A short list of driving distractions includes: eating and/or drinking while driving; looking at a map; talking with other car occupants (studies have shown that the more people there are in a car, the greater distraction there will be to the driver); adjusting electronic devices, like a GPS; adjusting a car stereo and/or setting it to full volume; grooming; adjusting a tie; lighting a cigarette; playing with child occupants; reaching for something, especially, at the back seat; and, arguing with someone while driving.

Due to driving  distractions, 421,000 individuals were injured and 3,328 lost their lives in 2012 (number of injuries was 9% higher than in 2011 which was only at 387,000). Unlike drunk-driving, driving recklessly and speeding which a greater majority of drivers will never risk committing, distracted driving can happen to anyone – even to drivers who are always concerned about road safety.

Regardless of the severity of injury that distracted driving may cause, this type of driving error is a threat to the safety of the drivers themselves, to other motorists, pedestrians and all others on the road. In its website, the law firm Williams Kherkher talks about the damages and losses that victims of car accidents may suffer.

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