Drivers have a responsibility to other motorists. They must remain focused on the task at hand or else they pose a serious threat to everyone they share the road with. We all know that we shouldn’t give in to distraction while driving, yet so many drivers succumb to the temptation of a mobile device.
Distraction is everywhere in our lives. We are constantly being bombarded with text messages, phone calls, emails, social media posts, news updates, and many other types of notifications. If we’re sitting at a desk or in our homes, these distractions might be tolerable or even welcome. However, when we’re distracted while behind the wheel, we are putting ourselves, our passengers, and everyone else in our vicinity in danger.
Distracted Driving Facts
- More than 8 people in the United States die every day in distracted driving-related crashes.
- In 2015, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were more than 105,000 crashes in Texas related to distracted driving.
- Of those distracted driving accidents in Texas, 476 people lost their lives and over 3,000 people suffered incapacitating injuries.
- In Harris County alone, there were over 14,000 distracted driving crashes in 2015.
How are People Distracted While Driving?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) classifies three ways in which drivers can be distracted: cognitively, visually, and manually. Cognitive distraction occurs when your mind is not on the task of driving. Visual distraction is when you aren’t looking at the road ahead. Manual distraction happens when a driver takes their hands off a steering wheel.
Smartphones or other mobile devices require our attention in ways that distract us visually, manually, and cognitively. To send a text, for example, a driver must take their focus, eyes, and at least one hand off the wheel. It’s no surprise that sending one single text can increase your chances of being involved in a crash by 23 times
When you consider these three types of distraction, you begin to understand that we are all susceptible to distraction behind the wheel in all sorts of ways. Talking to other passengers, changing the station on our radio, using navigation systems, looking in the mirror, eating, drinking, and even talking on hands-free devices can draw our attention from the task of driving and lead to terrible accidents.
Drivers Most Prone to Distraction
Any driver can be distracted, though certain groups are more likely than others to lose their focus behind the wheel. Younger drivers are notorious for using cell phones while driving. AAA found that nearly 60% of teen vehicle crashes involved some form of distraction and that half of surveyed teens admitted to reading a text or email on their phone while driving in the month before the survey.
Drivers from ages 19 to 24 are twice as likely as other age groups to report sending a text or email while driving. However, that doesn’t mean that older drivers are blameless. One study found that over 60% of teens reported seeing their parents send a text message while driving, even with their children in the vehicle.
As our lawmakers strengthen laws against cellphone use by drivers, we can all do our part to make sure we focus on the road ahead and set a good example for other drivers. No one wants to be the victim of a distracted driver and suffer the devastating consequences of a vehicle accident.
We are Here to Help
If you or a loved one has been the victim of a negligent driver, the experienced legal team at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law is here to help. We will investigate your case to determine who was at fault and how much you are owed, and we’ll fight to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Terry Bryant is a Board Certified personal injury attorney and a former judge. He knows the law inside and out. More importantly, he knows what it takes to get results for clients.
To schedule a free consultation with Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law, contact us today by filling out our online contact form or giving us a call at 1(800) 444-5000 or locally in the Houston area at (713) 973-8888.