A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that warning motorists about the dangers of handling a phone while driving simply haven’t discouraged them from doing so. According to Consumer Reports, based on its observations of nearly 12,000 real-world drivers in Northern Virginia, IIHS estimated the number of drivers using cell phones while behind the wheel increased by 57 percent from 2014 to 2018. Research shows an increased risk of crashes and fatalities for drivers who have been distracted by their phones. And that’s why IIHS estimates this type of behavior may be responsible for more than 800 deaths a year on U.S. roadways.
Cause for Serious Concern
The latest data also indicates that drivers are using their cell phones in riskier ways. Researchers say this trend is cause for concern because numerous studies link manipulating a cell phone while driving with increased crash risks. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,166 deaths on U.S. roads in 2017 were related to distracted driving, accounting for about 8.5 percent of all traffic accident fatalities.
IIHS and other researchers now believe those estimates are low because police reports often rely on people admitting to engaging in risky behavior or surrendering their phones to investigators after the crash. That only accounts for a small portion of accidents caused by distracted driving.
The Psychology Behind Distracted Driving
Researchers say there is a reason why public warnings about distracted driving are not proving very effective when it comes to actually preventing people from using their phones in their cars. And that’s because driving tends to be a boring task that many people consider as something of a necessary evil. There is also increasing pressure to multitask at all times of day.
So, people are going to be tempted to look at their phones or complete certain tasks or phone calls while driving. The explosion of social media and the need to stay constantly connected to one’s “friends” or “followers” is also another factor. We’ve seen significant increases in people taking selfies while driving or recording themselves while driving.
What Steps Can You Take?
Here a few steps drivers can take to avoid operating their vehicles while distracted:
• Do not use your phone while driving. Put it away in the trunk or some place where you will not be tempted to access it while driving.
• Make use of “do not disturb” features in your phone if you have them.
• Make use of apps that send out automatic replies to those attempting to reach you stating that you are currently driving and will get back in touch later.
• If you must use your phone during your trip, pull over to a safe location, turn off the ignition and then proceed to use your phone.
• If you must answer your phone, ask your passengers to help. Ask them to answer texts, change the audio settings or work the navigation system, if necessary.
If You Have Been Injured
Victims who have been injured by distracted drivers may be able to seek compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to guide you through what may become a complex process and help you maximize the compensation you can receive.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or if you have lost a loved one in a car accident caused by a negligent or careless driver, the experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you.
For over 47 years, our skilled accident attorneys have established a proven track record of helping injured victims. Our law firm recently recovered $5,600,000 for a bicyclist who was hit by a van, and $2,550,000 for another victim of a truck accident, and $3,000,000 for a pedestrian who was hit by a car, and the full $1,000,000 insurance policy for a pedestrian who was hit by a truck, and $4,625,000 for a driver who was in a car and was hit by a van, and $2,500,000 for a man who fell through an improperly secured hole.
Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.
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