Life has become more convenient for everyday folk. At the tip of our fingers is a device that connects us to everyone in the world and all the information known to man. This little electronic device that connects us to our loved ones through messaging and calling can be dangerous, especially if these distract us while operating a vehicle. The increase in cell phone use also spells a decrease in the roadway and driving safety.
Any activity that occupies our hands, our eyes, or our mind from anything other than driving is considered a distraction. These include, but are not limited to, talking to passengers, adjusting the AC, grooming, and eating. In our modern world, distracted driving laws include the usage of your cell phone or a mobile device of any kind while behind the wheel.
In this article, we’ll talk about the dangers of using handheld cell phones for motorists. If you or a loved one have been injured by a distracted motorist sending text messages while driving, it’s best to get in touch with our Monroe personal injury attorney right away! Call us now for help with your case.
The Numbers behind Text Messaging while Driving
The Effects of Texting While Driving
Here’s a list of the driving statistics involved when people send a text while driving.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that 3142 people were killed due to distracted driving in 2019; that’s 9% of all deaths that year. In other words, for every day, eight people have died because of a distracted driver.
Here’s a list of other shocking statistics involved:
- AAA reported that 12% of crashes involved some kind of cell phone use.
- When you dial on your phone, the risk of crashing increases by 95%
- 15% of injuries in car collisions were due to distracted driving
- 1 out of 5 people in distracted driving fatalities was not even in a vehicle.
Electronic devices are additional distractions while driving, lowering highway safety for everyone from school bus drivers to student drivers, even to a passing pedestrian. These numbers show the grim effects of cell phone use while driving.
The People Most Affected by Texting and Driving
Driving while texting is dangerous for anyone, inexperienced, novice, or professional drivers alike. However, there are age groups that are more likely to be texting or talking on the phone while driving: Teen Drivers (aged 15-19). Studies show that a teen driver has the highest risk of experiencing distractions from their phone while driving.
Here are some facts revealed by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about risky behavior in teens:
The CDC produced a study monitoring risky behaviors in teens. What they found revealed why texting and driving are so dangerous:
- Students who text while driving are also more likely to driving under the influence or ride with someone who’s drinking and driving, and more likely to not wear seatbelts;
- GPA does not affect the likelihood of texting while driving. Teens who get Fs are just as likely to text while driving as straight-A students.
- 39% of teenagers in high school have been distracted by sending emails or text messages while driving at least once in 30 days.
Here are more facts about the relationship between age groups and texting while driving:
- The group who’s more likely to be on their phones are drivers between the ages of 16 to 24
- NHTSA states that 7% of distracted driving casualties in 2018 were teenage drivers aged 15-19 years.
- According to the CDC, 25% of distracted drivers who passed away due to car accidents were aged 20-29 years old.
Types of Driver Distraction
The CDC divides distracted driving into three different categories:
- Cognitive: The mind is not focusing on driving. This affects the reaction time to the changing surroundings as the brain activity is spent on something else. These include daydreaming.
- Manual: Any time the driver takes their hand or hands off the steering wheel of the motor vehicle. One example is applying makeup.
- Visual: An activity that takes the driver’s eyes away from the roadways. This can include closing their eyes from being drowsy.
It’s impossible to practice safe driving for people who use cell phones while driving. When we text, all three kinds of distractions come into play. Phone texting endangers the driver, the passengers, and other people around the driver.
Smartphones can do more than just take calls and texts. They can also be used to take pictures, to pass the time with games and videos, to navigate unfamiliar roads. Texting is dangerous particularly to teen drivers because it takes so much attention. They think of what to type, look away from the road, and take their hand off the steering wheel to text.
The entire process from receiving a text message to responding takes an average of five seconds of using our cell phone while driving. Let’s say the driver is driving at 55 miles per hour. At the time that they are able to send the message, they would have driven the length of a football field. A lot can happen in those precious few seconds while they’re on the road.
The human brain simply is not designed to multitask effectively enough to be driving while distracted. Using cell phones while driving can decrease driver awareness. No matter how good the driver is at texting while driving, keeping their eyes on the road every few clicks, and keeping their phone in hand with the steering wheel on the other, an accident is bound to happen. Even texting during a red light is dangerous!
Consequences of Texting and Driving
The risk of death and injury due to car crashes should be enough of a deterrent to stop texting while driving. However, people can be stubborn. Here are the repercussions that inattentive drivers can face.
Even if they don’t crash into other people due to inattention, they’re still crashing their car. Single-vehicle crashes are still expensive, and they can severely damage property.
The law prohibits the use of cell phones while driving. In Louisiana, R.S. 32:300.5 (Texting while driving) applies to all drivers. The first violation is punishable by a fine of $175. Subsequent violations are punishable by $500 in fines.
Higher Insurance Rates
If insurance companies see that the driver poses a higher threat to people due to texting while driving, their insurance will increase. Even if they’re just pulled over without getting into an accident, this can cause them to pay more for insurance.
Call an Experienced Accident Attorney Now!
Being injured in a car accident due to another’s negligence or recklessness is a difficult situation to be in. If you have been hurt by someone texting or emailing while driving, you could benefit from working with an experienced attorney who will fight for your rights every step of the way. At E. Orum Young, our attorneys have a combined continuous experience of 35 years standing up for our client’s rights to compensation. We will fight on your behalf for every penny you deserve by law.
If you’re injured by a distracted driver, you deserve every penny of compensation you can get. Call our Monroe personal injury lawyer today for a free case review!