According to US government statistics, distracted driving is a tremendous and deadly problem, resulting in 3,328 traffic fatalities in 2012. That same year an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, a nine percent increase from the same motor vehicle injury figure 2011.
Common distractions to drivers include using a cell phone or smartphone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using a navigation system, watching a video, adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player and of course, texting.
The NHTSA makes the following notable findings:
- At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
- Engaging in visual-manual subtasks (such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting) associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
- Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
At this point in time, with all of the ad campaigns against distracted driving, it should be obvious that it constitutes negligence, or the failure to use ordinary care. This does not mean that someone injured by a distracted driver should expect an easy time dealing with the insurance company. Even if you are injured by a driver who is smoking, texting, drinking, watching a video and brushing his hair all at once, his insurance company may still try to deny responsibility. If you or a loved on is injured by a distracted driver, contact an experienced Norfolk personal injury lawyer to handle your claim.