Distracted Driving and the Law: The Dangers and Stats

As our society becomes more dependent on technological devices such as iPods, iPads, tablets, mp3 players, cellular phones, and navigational systems, the dangers of distracted driving increases significantly as do the numbers of distracted driver crashes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), every day in the United States 9 people are killed in distracted driving crashes and over 1,060 people are injured at the hands of a distracted driver. What is distracted driving? Distracted driving refers to when a driver engages in any activity that takes their attention away from the primary task of driving.

There are three main types of driver distraction and these include:

  • Visual distraction (taking your eyes off the road)
  • Manual distraction (taking your hands off the wheel)
  • Cognitive distraction (taking your mind off driving)

What Causes Driver Distraction?

There are many forms of driver distraction, many of which have led to tragic accidents, injuries, and death.

Some of the common forms of distracted driving include:

  • Eating while driving
  • Operating a navigational system
  • Reading a map or directions
  • Changing stations on the radio
  • Operating a CD or DVD player
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Using a cell phone
  • Texting while driving

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways. In 2018 alone, 2841 people were killed in distracted driving accidents according to the NHTSA. Of all the forms of distracted driving, texting while driving is by far the most dangerous because it involves all three elements of distraction: visual, manual, and cognitive. The NHTSA reports that cell phone use was reported in 18% of the distracted-related fatal crashes and that texting takes the driver's eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds; that's equivalent to driving the length of a football field blindfolded at 55 mph.

What Are the Distracted Driving Laws in My State?

Distracted driving laws vary by state with some banning handheld cellphone use and/or texting while driving. Review the laws and enforcement types at the Governors Highway Safety Association.

Injured? Turn to Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law for Help.

Despite the bans on handheld cell phone use and texting, drivers continue to engage in talking on cell phones and texting behind the wheel. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident due to the blatant negligence of a distracted driver, we urge you to contact us to request a free case evaluation.

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