What is distracted driving? According to the CDC, there are three general “types” of distraction
which interfere with normal driving habits. First, there is the “visual” distraction, which
involves activities that take your eyes off the road. Second, there is the “manual” distraction,
which involves behaviors that take your hands off the wheel. Finally, there is “cognitive”
distraction, which means things that take your mind off of driving.
While those are the general categories, more often than not, distracted driving involves using a
cell phone and/or eating. In-vehicle technologies, like a navigation system for instance, can also
be a culprit in taking your eyes and/or mind off the road. While any and all of these specific
types of distractions endanger the driver, passengers and other drivers, texting while driving is
particularly deadly given that it combines all three types of general distraction.
“Just how widespread and dangerous is the distracted driving problem?” The answer may shock
you. According to the CDC, in 2013 over 3,100 people were killed in crashes involving a
distracted driver. That statistic worsens in 2014, when over 3,300 people died at the hands of a
When talking injuries rather than death, the statistics are even more alarming. In 2013, over
400,000 people were injured in car/truck crashes due to a distracted driver. That is almost 10%
increase since 2011. According to latest CDC statistics, nearly one in five crashes (about 18%)
was caused by or involved distracted driving!
Distracted driving wreaks havoc on the lives of those injured, and/or the families of those who
might have been killed. Particular activities, such as texting, are especially deadly because these
activities take the driver’s attention away from driving for longer periods of time than other
distractions. At 55 mph, the average time spent to send a text message takes a person’s eyes off
the road for so long that the car has traveled the length of a football field!
Young drivers are disproportionally guilty of distracted driving. Specifically, drivers under the
age of 20 typically have the highest percentage of distraction-caused death by car wreck.
Additionally, The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) scrutinizes health-risk
behaviors among our nations’ high school students, particularly with regard to texting while
driving. According to YRBSS, more than two out of five students who had operated a car within
a 30 day period were guilty of texting while driving. Students who text while driving are also
more likely to drink and drive than other students who refrain from texting while in the car.
It boggles the mind, but as of December, 2014 there were over 169 billion text messages sent in
the US alone every month! Despite public outreach and education programs, the problem
continues to worsen. The percentage of texting drivers increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2
percent in 2014!
The statistics demonstrate that distracted driving causes serious accidents, horrible injuries and
death (and this is true whether the distracted driver is in an automobile or a commercial truck).
As a personal injury attorney, it is particularly important to investigate whether aclient injured