Thousands of people die every year in car accidents in Virginia and across the country that are caused by distracted driving.
While most people assume that other acts of negligence are the main killers on American roadways – like driving while intoxicated and excessive speeding – distracted driving is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
It is important to increase distracted driving awareness and share the following information with your friends, family and children. It may help to prevent a distracted driving accident from occurring that impacts you, and it may encourage everyone you know to drive a little bit more safely.
Distracting Driving and Auto Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted drivers are a factor in an estimated 80 percent of vehicle crashes.
Additionally, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that distracted drivers contribute to up to 8,000 crashes per day. Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, reports that in a single year, more than 3,000 people lost their lives in distracted driving crashes.
In terms of what happens on the roads in Virginia, DriveSmartVA.org reports that eight out of 10 traffic crashes in the state are related to driver distraction.
Who Does Distracted Driving Impact?
Distracted driving is not picky with its victims- they can take the lives of young or old. Studies show that teens are often the most at-risk for being involved in distracted driving crashes.
Distraction.gov reports that 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of crash, and that a quarter of teens have responded to a text message while driving. According to ImpactTeenDrivers.org, about half of teens who died in car accidents were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Causes of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving behavior can involve anything that takes your attention away from the task at hand, which should be focusing on the road and operating your vehicle in a reasonable, safe manner.
Using a cell phone or other hand-held devices is one of the leading causes of distracted driving crashes. DriveSmartVA.org reports that when you talk on a cell phone while driving, your brain activity associated with driving is reduced by almost 40 percent.
Other distracting behaviors include eating, drinking, reading, changing the radio, attending to child passengers or pets, engaging in conversation, looking out the side windows and more.
Why You Need to Talk to Your Kids and Family about Distracted Driving
Here are three reasons why you need to talk to your loved ones about the dangers of driving while distracted:
- Distracted driving kills – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that at least nine people die each day in the U.S. in a crash caused by a distracted driver.
- Your teen driver could be at risk – One recent AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study that analyzed roughly 1,700 crashes involving drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 found that, in 58 percent of the accidents, the driver was “inattentive or engaged in some other non-driving related activity”. Cell phone use and talking with passengers were the leading forms of distraction.
- Distracted driving is ultimately preventable – Prevent your loved ones from making the same distracted driving mistakes. Education is important. Make sure you pass along this knowledge to create a better awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
Get Help from a Charlottesville Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, get the legal help you need and deserve. Contact the experienced Charlottesville attorney at the Kendall Law Firm. Reach us online or call our offices directly to schedule your free case consultation today.