As an experienced St. Louis car accident injury attorney, distracted driving is a reality I see shake the lives of families across Missouri each and every day. Distracted driving has evolved from eating, applying makeup, and rubbernecking to texting, answering calls, and using GPS devices.
In 2012, 421,000 Americans were injured in car accidents involving a distracted driver—3,328 were killed.
Many believe the new age of technological distraction is a trait of teenage drivers. While it is true that 10 percent of all drivers of under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the accident (the larges proportion of any age group), distracted driving occurs at an alarming rate among all demographics of drivers.
In fact, according to Distraction.gov, approximately 660,000 drivers across the U.S. are using their cellphone or manipulating an electronic device while behind the wheel at this very moment. This is a number that, unfortunately, has held fairly steady since 2010.
Texting is the distraction that has gained the most media attention, and rightly so. If you are driving at 55 miles per hour and text, your eyes are off the road long enough for your car to span the length of a football field. Consider the changes to your surroundings that can occur in that timespan (roughly five seconds on average).
If you are a parent, set an example for your children by practicing safe driving habits. Ten percent of parents admit to having extended, multi-message text conversations while driving. This behavior sets off a chain reaction of unsafe driving, as your children or teens are more likely to feel this is acceptable behavior.
For more information and statistics about distracted driving, visit Distraction.gov today. If you are a parent, please educate your young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving by sharing such statistics and conveying the painful reality of what such actions may lead to.
If you have been injured in Missouri car accident that involved distracted driving, contact an experienced St. Louis car accident injury attorney right away.
Photo Credit: Lord Jim