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Distracted Driving: An Underrated Cause of Auto Accident Fatalities

Thanks to factors such as outdoor advertisements, electronic devices, and other things, when you are behind the wheel, you have an unlimited source of distractions. While there have been a number of campaigns encouraging people to put down their phone and pay attention to the road, this just isn’t a recommendation followed.

The worst part is, if you are distracted while behind the wheel, there is a much higher likelihood that you are going to be involved in an auto accident that results in injuries or even death. While there have been a number of research firms and government agencies that have collected data to determine the actual impact of distracted driving, many believe the estimates are much lower than they should be.

Distracted Driving Explained

When you are driving your vehicle, your main focus needs to be the road. Even if you look away for just a few seconds, it can lead to accidents that could have been easily avoided.

Cases of distracted driving occur when another activity takes your attention away from the safe operation of your vehicle. Some of the most commonly seen causes of distracted driving include the following:

  • Using your mobile device for talking, texting or another activity
  • Speaking to other people in the vehicle with you
  • Trying to adjust the radio
  • Adjusting the temperature in the vehicle
  • Thinking about something that is distracting, such as an upcoming event or an argument you had with another person

If you are distracted while behind the wheel, then it will be impossible for you to react to events on the road, as quickly as you should. Additionally, it means that you are going to be much more likely to make mistakes that result in an accident.

Statistics Related to Distracted Driving

Before 2015, the number of deaths that occurred on roadways in the U.S. were declining steadily. Today, however, the number of yearly deaths has increased by approximately 14.4 percent. In fact, in 2016, over 100 people died every single day near or on a U.S. roadway. A possible reason for this significant increase is the influx in use of mobile phones for texting and talking, which is something that has become more widespread since 2015. Additionally, many people have opted to start communicating via text, rather than by calling someone, which is even more distracting to a driver.

Keep in mind, however, this data isn’t attributing as many of the fatalities to distracted driving as it should. According to information from the NHTSA, or, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2015, only about 1.4 percent of all auto-accident fatalities to the use of mobile devices. This is a number should have been higher, since a large number of the deaths took place when a driver was going straight down a road, with no other complicating factors.

If you are involved in an accident with a distracted driver, you should contact a personal injury attorney to help you recover the compensation you deserve. If someone you loved died because of a distracted driver, an attorney can also help you collect wrongful death compensation.