Distracted driving is nothing new. Ever since the dawn of automotive technology, drivers have had to contend with a pantheon of attention-stealing problems, ranging from animals and babies in the back seat to the blaring radio to meandering trains of thought.
Unfortunately, over the past decade and a half, distracted driving has entered a new paradigm, driven in no small part by emerging technologies. We are living with the first generation of drivers who owned cell phones for most of their lives. Laws struggle to keep up with mobile technologies and how they affect drivers’ capacities to regulate their behavior behind the wheel. The following three studies highlight the profound danger of texting while driving – one of the most common and deadliest ways to lose focus behind the wheel.
Three Studies Highlighting the Dangers of Texting While Driving
- According to the Center for Disease Control, 31% of US drivers between the ages of 18-64 reported they read or sent text or email messages while driving at least once within the 30 days before the organization conducted the survey. Currently, nine people die every day from distracted driving. Researchers expect that number to grow as more members of the generation raised by phones start driving.
- Another study by Car and Driver explains how texting slows reaction time. One driver’s reaction time went from .45 seconds to 1.44 seconds when reading a text. Such a delay when a driving on a highway would have disastrous results. Furthermore, the youngest driver recorded the worst reaction time. Sadly, this represents the age group most likely to text on the road.
- Recent studies asked people if they had ever ridden in a car with a drunk driver. About 20% said they had. Compare that to the 44% who say they rode with a texting driver, and consider that research also suggests texting and driving is more dangerous than drunk driving. This is likely because texting while driving does not have the same cultural stigma as intoxicated driving.
Clearly, distracted driving is a deadly habit comparable to a crime considered extremely negligent. Between 2005 and 2012, drunk driving fatalities decreased 28%. In the same time, the percentage of people texting or otherwise distracted by their phones while driving increased 650%. In 2012, 3,328 Americans died in accidents involving a distracted driver, while 10,322 people died in alcohol-related accidents.
Texting Accident Attorneys With Experience
Texting while driving is well-documented as a serious problem. Although the numbers we’ve reviewed are staggering and sobering, there is a society-wide push for greater awareness and legal action. Families affected by texting related negligence deserve fair compensation for their losses. Unfortunately, with more young people on the road used to being constantly connected, distracted driving issues will likely become more challenging. Our legal team can advise you and help you advocate for fair compensation after your accident.