It is a shocking conundrum that there is near-unanimous agreement that distracted driving is an unsafe habit, yet the collisions continue to happen at an alarming rate. Whether it is the increased reliance on technology while driving or the desire to make the most of a commute and multi-task, drivers continue to be lured into distracting activities while behind the wheel.
The CDC has reported that, on average, eight people per day are killed in the United States in crashes that were reported to include a distracted driver. In 2018 alone, there were more than 36,000 motor vehicle accident deaths. Of those, nearly 3,000 were directly attributable to distracted driving activities such as personal grooming, eating, drinking, cell phone conversations or digital messaging. Why do drivers continue to engage in these unsafe behaviors?
- Too common to be dangerous: Especially in the “dining and driving” category, individuals are accustomed to having something to drink in the cupholder or a snack in the center console. Some drivers eat breakfast on the way to school or dinner on the way home from work. It is a common, ubiquitous habit that is never considered dangerous by drivers.
- Advanced safety systems: With safety features such as lane-keeping assist or collision avoidance software installed in their vehicles, drivers seem to feel more fearless while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, these features are meant to assist the driver, not take on all responsibility for a safe trip.
- Hands-free technology: Drivers are reminded that they can now make phone calls, send texts, respond to email or change their navigation settings simply by speaking to their car. Unfortunately, these activities, while not removing the hands from the steering wheel, still require the driver’s attention and, often, their eyesight.
Accidents caused by distracted drivers can result in catastrophic injuries and devastating property damage. Depending on numerous factors, vehicle occupants might be killed as a result of the collision. If you were injured or you have lost a loved one because of driver negligence, it is wise to discuss your case with an experienced legal professional at once.