Despite numerous media campaigns and outreaches to stop people from
texting and driving, it continues to be a growing problem in the country. Some people are
quick to blame young teenagers and novice drivers for the dangerous behavior
– the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has estimated that
10 teenage drivers lose their lives due to texting each day across the
country – the truth is that it is a serious problem across all age
groups. In some recent studies, as much as 27% of all adults admitted
to texting while driving. And that number is just the people who
admitted to this dangerous habit. In reality, we can probably safely assume twice
that number is accurate as people find various reasons to lie to the survey,
perhaps fearing legal retaliation.
Let’s address three questions to try to get to the bottom of this
issue that should concern everyone.
Why is Texting and Driving So Dangerous?
Most cities and towns in America are spread out of many acres and square
miles, so just about anyone over the age of 18 is driving for routine
trips for groceries, going to school, going to work, and more. This puts
a lot of people on the road at all hours of the day. As mobile carrier
service plans get cheaper and cheaper as time goes on, smartphones are
landing in the hands of more and more people, each one equipped with the
ability to instantly communicate with anyone in the world at no extra
charge – assuming that no one has a plan with limited texting anymore.
A great deal of drivers plus infinite possibilities to be distracted come
together to equal the biggest driving hazard since dirt roads became uncommon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia
has recognized the widespread hazards of texting behind the wheel and
has made their contribution to the topic. In particular, the CDC has determined
that there are three distinct forms of driver distraction, and that texting
while driving involves all of them.
1.Visual distractions that take the driver’s eyes off the road and mirrors.
2.Manual distractions that remove the driver’s hands from the wheel
3.Cognitive distractions that encourage the driver to think about anything
other than driving.
How Often Does Texting & Driving Cause a Crash?
The numbers are fairly difficult to pin down when it comes to how many
automobile accident are happening each year due to texting and driving.
As mentioned earlier, without an in-depth look at a motorist’s cellphone
record, there is no way of knowing for certain if they actually were not
texting when they crashed, or if they are just choosing to say that to
avoid trouble. What we do know is that there are over 30,000
fatal car accidents in the United States each year and many, many more nonfatal
collisions. Conservative estimates from safety groups like the National
Highway Transpiration Safety Administration (NHTSA) believe at least 25%
of car accidents involve at least one texting driver. That’s about
7,500 driver deaths a year just because someone wanted to send a quick
message while driving.
What is Being Done to Stop Texting & Driving?
Most states have passed legislation to bar drivers from texting and driving,
and a handful have even outright banned the use of a cellphone for any
purpose while you’re behind the wheel; the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration – the group behind the regulations commercial
truck drivers must follow while on the job – banned truckers from
using mobile devices on the road; and some safety organizations are pushing
for laws that require a driver to take education courses if they are caught
texting and driving by the police.
Is any of this working, though? Although the impacts of texting and driving
are massive, it is still a fairly new phenomenon. It would appear that
we need to wait for further studies and more initiatives to come to a
close before we, as a nation, can figure out a fair and effective way
to stop drivers from texting behind the wheel.
Until then, if you have been hurt by a distracted driver in Louisiana, you can
contact Duck Law Firm, L.L.C. to get a
free case evaluation with our Lafayette car accident attorney today.