Distracted driving is a growing and fatal problem
Nearly everyone agrees that texting and driving is dangerous, yet an overwhelming number of drivers continue to do it. Each time you take your focus off of the road, even for a second, you are putting your life and the lives of others in danger.
Police in Linden, New Jersey, issued 110 summonses to drivers they say weren’t paying attention to the road during two distracted driving enforcement operations this past week, according to the Jersey Tribune. Police data indicates that driver inattention was cited as a factor in more than 30% of the fatal car crashes in New Jersey last year.
Earlier this month, the New York Daily News reported that stricter laws against texting while driving would take effect in New York. Under the new law, newly licensed motorists convicted of texting while driving will have their license suspended for 120 days on the first offense.
The National Safety Council (NSC) reports that an estimated 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phone use. Distractions, along with alcohol and speeding, are now leading factors in fatal and serious injury crashes. Many different kinds of distractions exist, but cell phones are the number one distraction behind the wheel, according to the NSC.
AT&T recently conducted a national survey of cell phone users between the ages of 16 and 65 who drive on a daily basis. The survey found that although 98% of those questioned agreed that texting while driving is dangerous, three-quarters of those surveyed admitted they have still texted while driving.
The drivers who admitted to texting while driving said that they do so because they want to stay connected. Thirty percent of respondents said that it’s simply become a habit to use their phone in the car. Twenty-seven percent felt that their driving performance is not impacted by texting. AT&T released the survey this month as part of an anti-texting-and-driving campaign, and in conjunction with the wireless carrier’s free no-texting-while-driving app for iPhones.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) calls distracted driving a dangerous epidemic. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving crashes and 421,000 were injured. The NHTSA reported that is an extremely serious problem among teens and young people: 71% of teens admitting to sending a text while driving and 78% admitting to reading one.
The United States Department of Transportation says that text messaging while driving creates a crash risk 23 times higher than driving while not distracted. The NSC believes crashes involving cell phone use are underreported, because drivers aren’t forthcoming about the fact that they may have been texting, or they may have been seriously injured or killed. Therefore, it’s hard to know the full extent of the texting and driving problem.
If you have been injured in a crash involving a distracted driver, the personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys can help. The attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys have fought for the victims of car, truck and bus accidents throughout Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. For more information, or for a free consultation, call 855-866-5529.
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