Distracted Driving is a Dangerous Epidemic — Killing over 3,000 People Each Year
Distracted driving is driving while engaging in any activity that could divert your attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. In 2014 alone, 3,179 were killed in US distracted driving crashes. Common distractions include:
- Using a cell phone or smartphone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Because text messaging requires visual, manual and cognitive attention from the driver and because texting can be addictive, texting is likely the most dangerous distraction.
How to end distracted driving in West Virginia?
In 2013, West Virginia enacted the following laws to fight distracted driving caused by phone use and texting:
- Handheld ban for drivers of all ages (Primary law)
- Ban on texting for drivers of all ages (Primary law)
- Ban on cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
Note: West Virginia defines novice drivers as drivers of all ages with a learner’s permit or intermediate license.
Unfortunately, distracted driving is still an epidemic in West Virginia and across America. As a result, many organizations and governments are studying how to stop it. The current consensus about the best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. To that end, please visit distraction.gov and carefully consider the horrific facts below and share them with friends and family:
Distracted Driving Key Facts and Statistics
* In 2014, 3,179 people were killed, and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
* Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crashes. (NHTSA)
* As of December 2014, 169.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month.
* Tractor Trailer or large truck drivers who are texting take their eyes off the road an average of 4.6 seconds out of every 6 seconds. At 55 miles an hour, this is equivalent to traveling the distance of an entire football field blindfolded.
* Drivers in their 20s are responsible for 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes. (NHTSA)
* At this and every daylight moment, 660,000 drivers across America are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. (NOPUS)
* A 2015 Erie Insurance distracted driving survey reported that drivers do all sorts of dangerous things behind the wheel including brushing teeth and changing clothes. The survey also found that one-third of drivers admitted to texting while driving, and three-quarters saying they’ve seen others do it. (ERIE INSURANCE)
Get a Free Consultation with an Experienced West Virginia Auto Accident Lawyer
We hope this information raises people’s awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and reduces the number of distracted driving crashes in West Virginia. However, we know that it will take more than this article to end the distracted driving problem. So, if you’ve been injured by a distracted or negligent driver, we invite you to call West Law Firm for a free consultation.
Our West Virginia personal injury lawyers know how to determine and prove the at fault driver was texting or talking on his or her phone at the time of the crash. This evidence is difficult to obtain, but may make a big difference in whether you recover full and fair compensation for your losses.
Call us toll free today at 1-877-943-9378. West Law Firm is located in S. Charleston, West Virginia and we serve clients throughout the state and country who have been wrongfully injured in West Virginia.