by Distracted Driving Lawyer in Dallas, Tim O’Hare
Car accident fatalities are on the rise, up six percent from 2015. Last year, more than 40,000 people were killed in automobile crashes in the U.S. and distracted driving is a major contributor to fatal accidents.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As a personal injury lawyer who has worked with hundreds of clients who have been injured in or lost a loved one in a car accident, I believe it’s never a bad time to remind ourselves of the dangers of distracted driving and recommit to safe driving practices.
One second. That’s all it takes to change your life forever. Whether it’s your cell phone or your dashboard infotainment system — anything that takes your attention off the road poses a threat to your safety and the safety of others on the road.
Every distracted driving death is preventable. Our roads should be getting safer, not more dangerous. But sadly, statistics show the opposite. As we become more dependent on — even addicted to — technology as a society, we seem to have forgotten basic principles of safety.
Here are some other eye-opening facts you need to know about distracted driving:
- Sixty-four percent of all traffic accidents in the United States involve cell phone use.
- About 421,000 people are injured in crashes involving a driver who was in some way distracted.
- More than 78 percent of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving. One in every four car accidents in the U.S. are caused by texting while driving.
- If you text and drive, you spend 400 percent less time looking at the road compared to drivers who do not text while driving, and you are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident than you are if driving while not distracted.
- If you text while driving, it only takes three seconds after you take your eyes off the road for an accident to occur. Reading a text message while driving distracts a driver for a minimum of five seconds each time.
- The average speed in the U.S. is about 55mph. Taking five seconds to read a text at 55mph means the driver travels the length of a football field without looking at the road, or while distracted.
- Every day, 11 teenagers die because they were texting while driving. Ninety-four percent of teenagers say they understand the consequences of texting and driving, but 35 percent of them admitted that they do it anyway.
- Teen drivers are 400 percent more likely to be in a car crash when texting while driving than adults.
- Ten percent of adults and 20 percent of teenagers admit they have entire conversations by text while driving.
- A study at The University of Utah found out the reaction time for a teen using a cell phone is the same as that of a 70 year old who isn’t using one.
Don’t kid yourself into believing it won’t happen to you. The fact is, it could happen to you and, if you continue to text while driving, chances are, it will happen to you. Remember, last year, Texas lawmakers passed new regulations on cellphone use while driving, making texting while driving illegal in the state of Texas.
The National Safety Council is offering a free, 45-minute Distracted Driving Online Course April 15-21. This course is an excellent safety resource for all drivers, but can be especially useful for teenage drivers. If you have young drivers in your home, consider signing them up to take this course. Visit safetyserve.com/ddam to sign up.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare to speak with a Dallas-Ft. Worth distracted driving lawyer.
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