April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, so spring is the perfect time to talk about the new epidemic of distracted driving and how it is having a profound effect on the rate of car accidents in Missouri and around the nation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as many as ten people die in a motor accident every day due to someone driving while distracted. Although there are anti-texting laws and a lot of public awareness has been allocated to the discussion of not texting while driving, it is still happening on roadways around the country.
Statistics show that as many as one thousand people are injured due to distracted driving crashes every day. The total fatality count for accidents caused by distracted driving is more than four thousand annually. Unlike drunk driving, distracted driving has no confirmation test. There is no way to test if someone was driving while distracted, which probably means that it is the cause for far more fatalities than recorded.
Only confounding the problem is that often when someone is engaged in distracted driving, they are doing more than just looking at their phone. In a lot of fatal accidents, drivers are also speeding, not wearing their seatbelt or even drinking while driving. On the road, the combination of all three of those things is tantamount to riding in a time bomb.
Many smartphone companies have taken steps to limit distracted driving by installing hands-free technology for use while a person is driving. There are studies that show that even talking to someone on the phone when you are driving is a distraction that increases your risk of an accident. Not to mention that you still usually need to dial a number or find your phone when it is ringing, which means that you are taking your eyes off of the road.
If a person either reads or sends a text message while they are driving, they take their eyes off the road for an average of five seconds each time. In that five-second timeframe, it is highly likely that they are going to miss something on the road that will lead to a crash.
Many of the people who wouldn’t think to drink and drive or to drive recklessly have no problem picking up their cell phone to check notifications or sending a quick text message, but using a phone while driving is just as risky as driving while intoxicated.
If you are in a car accident where you are either being accused of distracted driving, or you suspect that the other driver was engaged in distracted driving, it is critical that you speak with a St. Louis car accident lawyer to protect you and help you recover your losses and damages. Call us 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a free case evaluation.