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Lawyers Discuss Distracted Driving

Cell phones are one of the biggest causes of distracted driving.

chicago car wreck distracted drivingA recent federal government funded study was conducted on driving habits and distractions by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). Researchers found shocking results about the extent of distracted driving.

  • Mobile phones were the most common distraction that people were engaging in while driving.
  • Texting while driving accounted for 2 percent of all driving distractions; however, it increased the risk of crashes by six times.
  • Simply taking your eyes off the road to pick up the phone can increase the risk of crashing by five times.

 

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Another study conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Traffic Safety charted out a number of dangers distracted driving poses based of the data they collected.

  • In 2013, distracted driving was the cause of 424,000 persons getting injured while on the road and 3,145 fatalities occurred due to distracted driving.
  • In the U.S., there are about 150 billion messages sent out per year.
  • 27 percent of drivers involved in fatal crashes caused by distracted driving are in their 20s.
  • At any given point of time, there are approximately 660,000 drivers on the road in the U.S. who are using cell phones while driving.

It has been established that cell phones are a distraction to motorists and are dangerous. A study conducted by the Florida State University published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, states that even a small notification popping up on the screen of the mobile phone is distracting enough to cause a car accident.

 

Distracted Driving and Negligence

Hands-free technology, voice commands, and Bluetooth connected technology were developed to reduce distractions caused by cell phones; however, any distraction can lead to serious implications for a motorist. Cell phone notifications, though short in duration, can prompt a driver to focus attention away from the current task at hand – driving. Taking your eyes off the road is a distraction serious enough to cause an accident, but even merely being aware that there is a missed call or a message notification can have the same effect.

 

A large number of distracted driving accidents occur every day despite drivers knowing that using cell phones while driving is a risk. Studies suggest that it is by habit, that a driver’s attention becomes divided between driving and the content of the notification they have received on the phone. Using a cell phone while driving can amount to negligence.

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