A couple of weeks ago, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration made an announcement that it was pairing with numerous other agencies and organizations to combat distracted driving. According to the announcement, 3,179 people were killed in 2014 as a result of distracted driving accidents in the U.S. Another 431,000 people suffered injuries that year as a result of distracted driving accidents in the U.S.
Specifically for California, there were 104 people killed and and 11,346 people injured due to “inattention” accidents in 2014. In addition, from 2013 to 2014, the number of victims of distracted driving accidents in the state of California actually increased.
As if all of this wasn’t bad enough, there is evidence that distracted driving is actually much more prevalent than the data shows. It is quite difficult for the police to definitively prove if an accident involved distraction or not.
The point of this post is to highlight just how prevalent distracted driving is these days — even with all of the safety announcements and safe-driving campaigns that would make you think that we, as a society, are cutting out this dangerous behavior.
Cellphones are absorbing, engrossing devices that take our attention even in the most harrowing of circumstances. Walking across the street; navigating a subway; and while driving a car, you can routinely see people using their cellphones in these circumstances. To everyone out there: please stop using your cellphones along the road or in transportation situations. If you do, you can be held liable for any accident you are involved in.
Source: NHTSA, “U.S. DOT and safety partners work to end distracted driving,” April 5, 2016