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Texting and Driving Hazards

Posted By Duck Law Firm || 4-Mar-2016

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 and/or gearshift.

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.

Categories: Car Accident
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