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The Dangers of Distracted Driving


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As technology use continues to increase in our daily lives, it presents dangerous distractions in the car. Combining other distractions-such as eating and drinking, grooming, talking to passengers, and adjusting control panel switches-with cell phone use can be a fatal mix. Every day in the U.S., an average of 9 people are killed and 1,153 are injured as the result of distracted driving.

Distracted driving is quite prevalent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified three forms of distracted driving:

  • Visual: taking one's eyes off the road;

  • Manual: taking one's hands off the wheel;

  • Cognitive: taking one's mind off of driving.

Many types of driving distractions are a combination of two or three of the above categories. For example, eating food falls into the categories of visual and manual distraction. Having a conversation with a passenger sitting next to you falls into the categories of visual and cognitive distraction. Cell phone is especially dangerous because all three types of distractions are present.

Various studies on distracted driving have uncovered the following alarming statistics:

  • In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, which was a slight decrease from 2012. However, the amount of people injured as a result of distracted driving increased by 9%, from approximately 421,000 to 424,000 people.

  • Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes, measuring in at 27% of the total.

  • On average there are approximately 660,000 U.S. drivers using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving at any given moment while on the roads.

  • Performing visual-manual tasks with a cell phone, or other hand held electronic device, increases one's risk of a getting in a car crash by three times.

  • One's eyes are off the road for an average 5 seconds while sending a text message. A lot of ground can be covered in 5 seconds when you are driving at high speeds.

  • 20 percent of teenagers and 10 percent of parents admit that they have had extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

  • In 2011, nearly one in five crashes (17%) in which someone was injured involved some form of distracted driving.

  • Distracted driving is worse in the U.S. than in some parts of Europe: A 2011 study found that a higher percentage of U.S. drivers talked on the phone and read or sent emails or texts while driving than drivers in the countries of Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Current Michigan law prohibits texting while driving, and some municipalities have enacted local ordinances that prohibit all cell phone use while driving within city borders. This is because drivers driving distracted, particularly texting while driving, has become a dangerous epidemic and often result in serious or life-threatening injuries.

If you or your loved one have been injured because of the carelessness of a distracted driver, you are entitled compensation for your personal injuries, pain, suffering, lost wages and medical expenses. Call our Detroit personal injury lawyers today to discover your rights and get the help you need. For over 30 years we have been helping auto injury clients get back on their feet and receive the compensation they deserve. We can do the same for you.

Call (248) 286-8100 for a free, no obligation case review and see what we can do for you.