Distracted Driving: A Fatal Mistake

12315(2)It may seem like the pace of life is increasing daily, forcing Americans to move faster or risk being left behind. Today’s adults are expected to be the best employees, best spouses, best parents, and best members of communities ever and those demands are causing some people to fit more and more into their daily routines. Whether that means waking up earlier, going to bed later, skipping a lunch break or missing out on a session at the gym, people who live in Phoenix must find some way to get everything done that needs to be accomplished.

This pressure is so common that it is felt by millions across the country, not just here in the Valley of the Sun. And it is so common that others can understand a moment of weakness by someone who needs to check an email or make a call. But statistics continue to prove that engaging in those activities while driving can be a costly, and even deadly mistake and that it is never worth the risk.

Distracted driving is an epidemic in the United States and in 2013 alone, an estimated 424,000 people were hurt in car accidents caused by distracted driving. Another 3,154 people lost their lives in similar accidents which averages out to 1,161 injuries and more than eight fatalities every single day of the year. The troubling fact remains that the incidences of distracted driving are on the rise every year as technological improvements continue to invade our lives, making our cell phones, tablets, and other devices a necessity and no longer a luxury. What’s more is that these statistics are based on reported incidents of distraction or cases where evidence of distracted driving existed with experts believing that many more crashes and injuries actually stem from distracted drivers.

In all of the collisions in 2013, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gathered data related to distraction and made some startling realizations about how prevalent the issue is. In incidents that resulted in injuries, 18 percent of crashes involved some element of distraction while 10 percent of fatal accidents had at least one distracted driver. Drivers aged 15 to 19 were the group most likely to be distracted behind the wheel and among drivers that age who were killed in collisions, 10 percent of them were distracted at the moment a crash took place.

Distraction is a serious problem nationally and in Arizona, and it is one that is increasing every year. If drivers and others wish to be safe while on the roadways, the advice from experts is simple: put down any devices or objects that may be distracting, focusing instead on the road and on traffic ahead of you. Remember that cell phones, computers and videos are not the only sources of distraction but that even things like reaching for a fallen object, eating while driving, or possibly having a conversation with a passenger may be distracting. If any activity diverts your attention away from the roadway, refrain from engaging in that action and instead put all of your energy into your driving. If every motorist avoided distractions, thousands of car accidents would not occur each year and those people who otherwise would have been involved in crashes will not be injured or killed.

Until distractions are completely eliminated, crashes will keep taking place and enacting a physical and financial toll on Phoenix residents. If you were involved in a crash in Maricopa County and you were hurt, know that you may have a valid claim for your injuries that will entitle you to financial payment. Working with a personal injury attorney can ensure that your rights are protected while helping you get the relief you deserve and the full value you need for your damages.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., our law firm was built on the belief that injured victims deserve help and that is what we practice today. We never represent insurance companies and only represent victims because we believe that is the right thing to do. If you were hurt, call us today toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and speak to one of our lawyers who will provide you with a free, no-obligation case consultation. We have an attorney available 24/7 to help you, so please call us now and let us get to work for you.

Prior Blog Entry:

Phoenix Bicyclists Continue to be Injured in Dooring Accidents, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published December 1, 2015.

Resource:

Traffic Safety Facts, Distracted Driving 2013, U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, published April 2015.