Distracted driving causes many motor vehicle accidents

Since the first motorized vehicles hit the streets of the country, distractions have been a problem for drivers. However, due to the sheer number of cars and drivers in Alabama and the rest of the country, the potential for motor vehicle accidents has increased exponentially, and large numbers of drivers easily become distracted. In a society in which texting has become its own language, distracted driving is considered just as dangerous as drinking and driving.

An insurance company surveyed numerous drivers in 2015. A wide variety of activities such as changing clothes and brushing teeth were reported. Approximately one-third of the surveyed drivers admitted that they text while driving, and 75 percent say they have watched someone text while behind the wheel.

Texting is so dangerous because it requires cognitive, manual and visual attention. This means that a driver who is texting has approximately zero percent of his or her attention on the road. In 2009, researchers reported that the average text takes a person’s eyes off the road for nearly five seconds. That might not seem like much time, but if the vehicle is traveling at 55 mph, 100 yards (the length of a football field) is traversed in that time. That is a long distance for a driver to not be paying attention.

Data from 2014 indicates that 431,000 people suffered injuries and 3,179 lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver. The victims and their families would most likely agree that drivers who allow distractions to remove their attention from the road adversely affect far too many people. Anyone here in Alabama who becomes the victim of a distracted driver — or the family of someone killed by one — retains the right to file a civil action seeking restitution for the damages incurred because of someone else’s negligence.

Source: distraction.gov, “Distracted Driving : Facts And Statistics“, Accessed on Aug. 12, 2016