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Identifying distracted driving behaviors


Posted on behalf of Michael D'Amico of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Nov 02, 2014 in Car Accidents

There is a lot of discussion in the media these days regarding distracted driving. According to statistics provided by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, in 2012, an estimated 421,000 individuals were hurt in motor vehicle accidents in which a driver was distracted. A total of 3,328 people lost their lives. Most would likely agree that those injuries and deaths were unnecessary.

Perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions distracted driving is cell phone use. This makes sense as since 2010, at any given time, there are approximately 660,000 drivers on roads throughout the nation who are using a phone or another electronic device.

While using a hand-held phone to talk or text is often the main focus of distracting driving campaigns, the reality is any activity that pulls your attention off the road constitutes distracted driving, including watching a video, drinking or eating, brushing hair or applying makeup, using a navigation, looking at maps or adjusting the radio or another audio device. Even conversing with other occupants of the vehicle could constitute distracted driving.

Drivers of all ages engage in distracted driving. That said, drivers under the age of 20 make up the group that is most often distracted while driving. Of all drivers in that group, 10 percent were reported as engaging in a distracting activity when a fatal accident occurred. In addition, 20 percent of teens admit to engaging in multi-message text conversations while behind the wheel. Parents are only a little better, at 10 percent. This is clearly a problem as the risk of being involved in a car accident increases by three fold when drivers participate in activities associated with the use of hand-held phones and similar devices.

Individuals who are hurt in motor vehicle accidents that are the result of a distracted driver may decide to pursue a lawsuit against that individual. In most cases working with a personal injury lawyer is a good place to start the process.

Source: Distraction.gov, “What is Distracted Driving" Accessed Oct. 2, 2014