Car Accidents Caused by Texting and DrivingPublished: Nov 28, 2018 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Distracted driving is the leading cause of fatal car accidents in the United States. Texting while driving is the most common distracted driving behavior. Despite educational campaigns, public service announcements, and legal consequences, texting while driving continues to contribute to the number of fatal car crashes in our country.
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported 3,450 fatalities directly related to texting and driving. Another 391,000 people were injured in car accidents caused by texting. According to the NHTSA, texting while driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving.
Types of Distracted Driving
Texting is the most common form of distracted driving, but it is not the only form. Teenagers and other drivers mistakenly believe that texting only causes a moment of distraction that is not as risky as most statistics claim. The truth is, a person that is texting while driving 55 miles per hour is equivalent to someone driving the length of a football field blindfolded.
Other forms of distracted driving include:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating or drinking
- Using onboard navigation systems
- Talking to other passengers in the car
- Drowsy driving
- Reaching for objects
While all these actions require your attention to be diverted from the road in front of you, texting requires both cognitive and manual distractions. Even dictating a text message requires drivers to manipulate keys on their phone and activate the send button. Emotional reactions to text messages can also create additional distractions. A person who is angry or very excited by a message may instinctively re-read the message or respond impulsively.
Who is Most At-Risk for Distracted Driving?
It may not surprise many people to learn that teenage drivers are the most prevalent group of drivers likely to be involved in a fatal car accident related to texting. Despite continuous warnings from parents, educational programs in schools, and even warnings on social media, teenagers are greater risk takers than any other age group. Most believe they are immune to danger that just happens to other people, while others believe they can handle the distraction better than those who became statistics.
It is vital for parents to continue closely monitoring their teenage drivers. Repeated reminders may seem ineffective, but the subliminal messages may just make the teen think twice about texting while driving. Parents should also set firm consequences for texting while driving and follow through with them. Taking away the keys to the car or restricting driving only to certain places may reduce the chances of a teenager becoming involved in an accident.
Recent public service announcements have suggested putting the phone in the back seat of the car to avoid the temptation to pick it up for any reason. It may seem trivial, but a phone out of reach is less of a temptation than one sitting on the seat beside you as you drive.
Edwardsville Car Accident Lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC Help Victims of Car Accidents Claim Compensation
If you or someone you know has been injured in a car accident, call the Edwardsville car accident lawyers at The Cates Law Firm, LLC at 618-277-3644, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our Swansea, Illinois office serves clients in Edwardsville, St. Clair County, and Belleville.