Car Accidents, Vehicle Wrecks
A new study shows that drivers in the United States are distracted more than half the time they are driving. Let that sink in. More than half the time someone is driving, he or she is distracted by something. That means there is an extremely high chance of someone not paying 100% attention to the road when driving behind you, around schools and playgrounds, through busy intersections and interchanges, and at dawn and dusk when people are often walking, jogging, cycling, etc.
It’s a scary statistic.
To add to that, the World Health Organization reported that in 2013, the United States ranked 17th out of 29 high-income nations for the most traffic deaths per 100,000 people. The United States has more traffic fatalities than the United Kingdom, Canada, Brunei, and the Philippines, just to name a few.
What could possibly be so important that we are putting our lives (and the lives of so many others) at risk?
Driving Distracted: Cell Phones
Researchers from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute have suggested that Americans have become worse at driving. While doing their research, they found that drivers were distracted more than half the time, resulting in doubling (or more!) their risk of a car crash. They also noted that at least 70% of analyzed car accidents involved “some type of observable distraction.”
The main distraction: cell phones, from dialing to talking to texting. A person merely reaching for a cellphone was 5 times more likely to be in a car crash.
When texting while driving, in particular, 5 seconds is the minimum amount of time your eyes are off the road. That doesn’t seem like a lot until you realize that when traveling at a speed of 55 mph, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field (100 yards).
It’s a scary reality.
Researchers have found some other startling distracted driving statistics:
- 1 in 5 drivers has surfed the internet while operating a vehicle
- 1 in 3 has sent text messages while driving
- 1 in 2 has talked on the phone while driving
Is what we’re surfing, sending, or saying important enough that it is worth causing a crash? No.
Unfortunately, cell phones are not the only type of distraction we need to be concerned with.
Other Driving Distractions
Distractions are everywhere at every moment of driving. From other people in the car to other drivers on the road to contemplating our busy lives, there’s no shortage of distractions. Any type of distraction significantly increases your chances of causing a car crash. It’s dangerous no matter how harmless changing radio stations, interacting with passengers, being emotional or upset (feeling sad or angry or crying), personal grooming, or applying makeup may seem. Any and all distractions take away from your cognitive ability to focus on the primary task of driving.
Another dangerous type of distracted driving is drunk driving, even though it is not always considered a distraction. Driving while intoxicated impairs your decision-making skills, vision, cognitive abilities, reflexes, and motor function. Drinking and driving is incredibly dangerous and should be avoided at all times.
Stay Safe While Driving
While you can’t control the actions of other drivers any more than you can control the weather, you do have complete control over your actions. Be sure to adjust the radio and other car settings, check the map or GPS, and turn off or stow away your cell phone before you start your vehicle. Stay calm while driving, and be sure to let any passengers in the car know that your main priority is to get to your destination safely; you’ll be surprised at how mindful they will be of anything that might distract you.
Also be sure to set a good example for your passengers, especially children, when driving. They parrot what they see and hear. Let your children know that distracted driving is unacceptable and that we depend on others to practice safe driving habits so everyone can get to their destinations safely.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, especially if it was the result of someone else’s distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Please contact Crosley Law Firm at 210-LAW-3000 or 877-535-4529 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation with us today.
DWI: Driving while intexticated [infographic]. (2015). Don’t Text and Drive Retrieved from http://www.textinganddrivingsafety.com/texting-and-driving-stats
Marshall, A. (2016, March 8). U.S. drivers are distracted more than half the time they’re behind the wheel. CityLab. Retrieved from http://www.citylab.com/commute/2016/03/major-distractions-for-drivers/472656/
Related ArticlesView All Blog Articles
What Is the Average Payout for a Rear-End Collision?Mar 13, 2023
You were stopped at a red light, minding your own business. Suddenly, a truck rear-ends you, pushing your car into the middle of an intersection. Now, you’re living with severe back pain and your doctors are suggesting surgery. Your car accident case is worth a lot of money, right? Maybe. The reality is, there’s no […]
Who Is at Fault in a Multi-Car Accident in Texas?Mar 09, 2023
After a multi-car accident, drivers and insurance companies often point fingers at each other, trying to shift blame to someone else. But if you suffered life-changing injuries, you deserve to know exactly what happened, which driver (or drivers) were responsible, and which liability insurance will pay for your medical bills and other damages. But getting […]
I’m Being Blamed for a Car Accident That Wasn’t My Fault—What Should I Do?Feb 22, 2023
“My word against your word” scenarios happen all the time after auto accidents, especially when there are few other witnesses at the scene. Being accused of causing a car crash that wasn’t your fault can make you feel helpless and angry, especially when no one else is around to support your story. Getting blamed for […]
What Is the Texas Statute of Limitations for Personal Injury (and When Should I File My Lawsuit)?Feb 01, 2023
One of the first questions many people have an injury is, “How long do I have to make a personal injury claim?” While that’s an extremely important piece of information to know, it can also be misleading—and in some ways, the wrong question to ask. Here’s the short answer: In most cases, you have two […]
Who Is At Fault in an Intersection Accident?Jan 15, 2023
Most car accidents happen at intersections, plain and simple. According to the Federal Highway Administration, roughly half of car accident injuries and one-quarter of car accident fatalities occur at intersections. But it can be difficult to determine who is at fault in an intersection accident—with many turning into a “he said, she said” situation. In […]
What Should You Do After a FedEx Truck Crash in Texas?Dec 09, 2022
With more than 100,000 vehicles, nearly 125,000 drivers, and an annual revenue estimated at around $84 billion, FedEx is easily one of the largest trucking companies in the United States. With numbers like these, it’s no surprise that FedEx freight trucks are involved in injury-causing truck crashes nearly every day on American roads. In fact, […]
What Happens if You Get in an Accident With a Delivery Truck Driver?Nov 01, 2022
If your neighborhood is anything like ours, chances are you see a steady stream of delivery trucks, vans, and other vehicles pass by your house or apartment on a daily basis. The trend really took off at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it certainly shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Nowadays, […]
How to Prepare for a Deposition in a Texas Personal Injury CaseOct 24, 2022
If you’ve suffered a personal injury that wasn’t your fault and you need to file a civil lawsuit to get the compensation you deserve, sooner or later you will likely have to provide your personal testimony in a deposition. Although depositions are not given before a judge, the things that you say will be considered […]
The Dangers of 15-Passenger Vans (and What to Do After a Passenger Van Accident)Oct 10, 2022
Traffic safety experts and auto manufacturers have known for decades that large passenger vans are especially likely to be involved in certain kinds of serious crashes. While these vans are a convenient way to transport groups of people, larger vehicles require a greater degree of driving skill to operate safely—particularly when fully loaded with passengers […]
U-Turn Laws in Texas: Who’s at Fault After a Crash?Aug 24, 2022
There’s a lot of confusion about Texas’ U-turn laws. While U-turns are generally legal in Texas and a convenient way to quickly change direction, they’re also known for leading to numerous car accidents. If you’ve been involved in a U-turn accident, it might not be immediately clear who is at fault. First, although the driver […]
Do you or a family member
need legal advice?
Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.