Distracted Driving Kills More Americans Each Day

By Neil Kalra

Distracted driving is a major cause of many different accidents that seriously injure and kill thousands of Americans every year. Every kind of accident you could imagine can be caused by distracted driving. A few include:

  • Truck accidents

  • Bus wrecks

  • Motorcycle wrecks

  • Bicycle accidents

  • Rear-ended collisions

  • Hit pedestrians

But it seems the number of distracted driving accidents involving commercial trucks and busses has risen: what with all the delivery drivers carrying products ordered online due to COVID social distancing. And not only are there more delivery drivers, the pool for commercial truck drivers was already shallow to begin with so even more of them with less experience are climbing behind the wheel of large commercial trucks and rushing to make those deliveries. It’s a recipe for disaster.

The Evidence on Distracted Driving and its Causes is Undeniable

Each day in the U.S., around nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in distracted driver crashes, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). In 2018 around 3,000 lives were lost this way. And the National Safety Council (NSC) says cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year.

Talking and texting is far-and away the most common cause of distracted driving. Even behind the wheel, we are compelled to multitask. And our ever present smartphones can be dangerous, even fatal, to us and others, anytime.

Other common causes of distracted driving include

  • Paying attention to our GPS navigation systems

  • Adjusting music or controls or doing other “Infotainment system” tasks so prevalent in vehicles over the past 10 years or so. More on that in a minute

The above two can easily be associated with commercial truck drivers. Fatigue – especially over-the-road truckers – can be a distraction that causes a disastrous accident. Other causes of this malady, but possibly more to private vehicle drivers include:

  • Eating food

  • Applying makeup

  • Talking to passengers

  • And managing children or pets

The NSC offers more disturbing facts on distracted driving.

  • Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk according to the Council.

  • Distracted driving of only five seconds is enough time to travel the length of a football field at 55 miles an hour…while in-effect DRIVING BLIND.

  • 94 percent of drivers support a ban on texting while driving and 74 percent of adult drivers support a ban on ANY hand-held cell phone use, BUT…

  • A survey from the website DriversEd.com found that 54 percent of drivers admit to texting while driving (reading OR typing).

Banning Phone Distractions Behind the Wheel: And What about Auto Infotainment Systems?

Debates continue when it comes to the role cell phones play in driver distraction. Just about all states discourage the marriage of “Driving and Device-ing.” But they can’t agree on the degree on any bans of the practice. So there are several.

  • 20 states and the U.S. territories D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

  • 21 states also prohibit school bus drivers from any cell phone use at all.

  • And 48 states, along with the same aforementioned U.S. territories ban all drivers from text messaging.

And now there’s news that confirms another suspicion. Vehicle infotainment systems may also play a part in increasing distracted driving – again, according AAA. “A lot of tasks, like texting and navigation have high visual demand,” explains David Strayer, a psychology professor at the University of Utah; which conducted the survey for AAA. He also helps us understand the three types of driver distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. “With visual, you’re taking your eyes off the road. Manual means taking your hands off the wheel; while cognitive distraction is essentially taking your mind off what you’re doing (and sensing) behind the wheel.”

But you can avoid being a victim when you’re driving (or walking) in New York City. Don’t count on the other driver to not be distracted. Take charge yourself. Keep alert. And almost every other vehicle is some sort of delivery vehicle – likely driven by someone who’s distracted and/or in a hurry.

Whether you were, or a family member was, injured due by a distracted drover – private citizen or behind the wheel of a commercial delivery vehicle; you may be entitled to full benefits and compensation. Know your rights and get the answers you deserve.

The attorneys at Kalra Law Firm are dedicated to getting all accident victims the compensation they deserve. Call our office now to speak with one of our experienced distracted driving accident lawyers to represent you in your case. We offer a free initial consultation and will not charge unless we win your case. If you have any questions about your distracted driving accident, call our New York City and Queens Construction accident lawyers today at (718) 897-2211. www.unionlawyer.com

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