Do you know distracted driving is dangerous, yet do you still do it? We might like to think that we do not participate in distracted driving, but in reality, you might check your text messages at a stoplight, scroll through your contacts to make a phone call, look up the number to a restaurant you’re going to order takeout from, or even eat a sandwich while driving.
While we think of these as simple, one-time events, all of these put ourselves and others at risk as we take our eyes off the road. According to the NHTSA, 3,142 people died in 2019 due to distracted driving.
Learn what distracted driving is, why it’s dangerous, and who is at the most risk.
What Is Distracted Driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving. This can include talking on your phone, texting, eating or drinking, playing with your dashboard or stereo, or even talking to other passengers in your car.
Of these, one of the most common is texting and driving. According to the NHTSA, if you take your eyes off the road for 5 seconds while driving 55 mph, it’s the equivalent of driving the entire length of a football field without looking at the road.
With so many obstacles on the roadways, between traffic signals, other cars, pedestrians, bikes, and more, it’s imperative that you put 100 percent of your attention on driving to keep yourself and others safe.
Types of Distracted Driving
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state there are three main types of distractions while driving. These are:
- Visual: This involves physically taking your eyes off the road.
- Manual: This means taking your hands off the wheel. This can happen when playing with your stereo, reaching for something in your backseat, digging through your purse, and other activities.
- Cognitive: This is when you take your mind off driving. This can occur if you are talking on your phone or having a conversation with others in your vehicle.
Who’s At Risk of Distracted Driving
The CDC states that while everyone can be at risk of distracted driving, young adults and teen drivers may face the biggest risks.
According to the health organization, in 2018, 25 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes in the U.S. were between the ages of 20 and 29. Younger drivers are also at risk. The CDC said drivers between the ages of 15-19 are more likely to be distracted than drivers 20 or older in crashes where someone died.
In a 2019 survey, the CDC found that:
- In 2019, 39 percent of high school students who drove within the past month texted or emailed while driving at least once.
- Texting or emailing when driving was not limited to students with a certain GPA. According to the study, A and B students were just as likely to drive distracted as students with lower grade point averages.
- The CDC found that students who texted or emailed while driving were also more likely to be involved in other risky behaviors like not always wearing a seatbelt, being willing to ride with a driver who was drinking, and being more likely to drive themselves after drinking alcohol.
We Can Help
If you were injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, you need help from top-rated, hard-working representation. At Shapiro|Delgado, our attorneys put their injury law experience to work for you. And we handle cases on a contingency basis, which means we don’t get paid unless you do.
We represent clients throughout Florida, including Sarasota, Bradenton, Tampa, Saint Petersburg, Pinellas County, and surrounding communities.
To set up a free personal consultation, call 941-954-4000 or use our convenient online contact form.
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