Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer Says Distracted Driving Kills
In a statement released on January 28, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that the rise in mobile device usage while driving has caused an increase in auto accidents. The National Safety Council reports that in the U.S. texting while driving causes 1.6 million accidents annually. Researchers fear that this trend will continue. Drivers who read or write text messages while operating vehicles are 23 times more likely to be in a crash than non-distracted drivers, according to researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
As a result, states have passed distracted driving laws. 41 states plus D.C. have banned text messaging behind the wheel. The report also revealed that 12 states plus D.C. have implemented laws prohibiting all drivers from using handheld devices while operating a vehicle. Additionally, all 50 states have implemented police reports that include sections for distracted driving information in the event of an auto accident.
Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer, Caroline Munley, said that distracted driving is anything that can divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving, and can include:
- Using a cell phone or a smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Reading maps or other materials
- Using your navigation system
- Adjusting radio, CD, and MP3 players
The U.S. Department of Transportation website for distracted driving reported that 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. For drivers 15-19 years old, 21% of the distracted drivers were distracted by cell phones.
The 2013 National Occupant Protection Use Survey found that at any given moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while driving, a number that has steadily increased since 2010.
The statistics are staggering. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashed involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional 387,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.
How dangerous is distracted driving? Research from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute shows that “engaging in visual-manual subtasks” (like reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times. Its research also shows that sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 5 seconds. If one was traveling 55 mph, that would be the equivalent of driving the length of a football field, blind.
The problem is not only with teens but with adults alike. A recent University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute study found that a quarter of teen drivers respond to a text message once or more every time they get behind the wheel. Furthermore, 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit to extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.
Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer, Caroline Munley, says that driving is a right, not a privilege and everyone getting behind the wheel of a vehicle needs to practice common sense and be held accountable for their actions when not acting responsibly.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a distracted driver, the attorneys at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys are ready to fight for you. Call 855-866-5529 ore visit munley.com.
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