Distracted Driving Accident Study: Surprising Revelations About What Distractions are Causing Accidents
Everyone has heard about the dangers of texting and driving and other common forms of distracted driving. There are public service announcements, commercials, print advertisements, and billboards constantly reminding people to not text and drive, or to use their electronic devices hands-free. Lately, it seems as if TV personalities reminding people to not text and drive show up at the end of every broadcast. There is also a major push to find a technological fix for the hazardous nature of distracted driving. A new study, however, might be turning our definition of “distracted driving” on its head just a bit. Apparently, you don’t need an electronic gadget to be distracted.
According to recent studies of law enforcement crash data, drivers who were involved in fatal U.S. car accidents were far more likely to be daydreaming, or “lost in thought” than distracted by electronic devices, like smartphones.
According to their analysis of crash data, the Erie Insurance Group said that 10 percent of auto accidents that resulted in fatality involved at least one distracted motorist, but 62 percent reported their distraction involved being “lost in thought” or daydreaming. Because their findings were not unique, all insurance companies have been warning the public of the dangers of distracted driving, and encouraging drivers to focus on the actual driving part of motor vehicle operation for years The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has been advising drivers to concentrate on the dangers of the road by asking themselves how they would react to unexpected events on the road, and to identify and overcome diversions that cause them to daydream. As part of its efforts to get drivers to pay attention to the road, the Department of Transportation declared April National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
But what may surprise people is that some of the most dangerous distractions for drivers are things we rarely think about, such as rubbernecking or conversing with vehicle passengers. Two other common distractions cited in fatal accidents are eating and moving an object in the vehicle, such as a pet, while driving.
This in no ways means that texting and driving is not a serious problem in need of a fix and/or better law and law enforcement. In 2011 alone, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. That is an increase from 2010. Almost 400,000 additional people were seriously injured in accidents involving distracted drivers. It is likely that the number of tragic accidents related to distracted driving will continue to increase until there is a technological fix along with better laws regarding distracted driving.
The Texas Distracted Driving Lawyers at Hill Law Firm have represented many victims of accidents involving distracted driving. Hill Law Firm are advocates of stronger laws regarding texting and driving. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident, and you think distracted driving was a cause, contact the Texas Personal Injury Lawyers at Hill Law Firm today.