According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving. Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
Louisville car accident attorney Tate Meagher knows firsthand the pain and suffering a distracted driving accident can cause. According to a NHTSA report, in 2016, 3,450 fatal crashes occurred on U.S. roadways that involved distraction. 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015.
According to the NHTSA, during daylight hours, approximately 481,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving. That creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes.
Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched several awareness campaigns about the dangers of distracted driving. In June 2011, a Kentucky statute went into effect making it illegal to text the phone while driving. However, according to a Courier Journal article, this law has been difficult to enforce.
The best way to prevent a crash with a distracted driver is to be aware of other drivers around you and drive defensively. Be a responsible driver — do not use a phone or text while driving. If you use an infotainment system in your car, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are recommended over automakers that build their own native infotainment systems. According to a AAA report CarPlay and Android Auto were 5 seconds, or 24 percent faster, than a vehicles native system when making a call and 15 seconds, or 31 percent faster, when navigating.
Clearly distracted driving will remain a significant issue for the foreseeable future. If you or a loved one has been injured in a accident where the other driver was using their cell phone while driving or distracted in another way, contact the Meagher Law Office at (502) 309-9213 to set up a free consultation today.
This article is provided as an information resource and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this article before making any decisions.