Distracted driving occurs when the driver takes their eyes off the road for any reason. Inattention to the road and the environment places the vehicle’s occupants, other drivers, and pedestrians at risk for serious injuries. Common types of distraction include texting, using an electronic device, eating, grooming, talking to passengers, adjusting radio, or talking to the passenger.
In their recent study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 30,057 fatal accidents occurred. Of those crashes, 44,574 drivers were involved, 32,719 of whom were killed. The leading cause of car accidents is distracted driving.
To better understand its impact, here are some distracted driving statistics:
- Distracted driving causes 10% of all fatal crashes that involved drivers under the age of 20 (NHTSA)
- Over half of all adults who own cellphones admitted to sending or receiving a text message while walking (Pew Research)
- Sending or reading a text takes the driver’s eyes off the road for approximately 4.6 seconds. For a car driving at 55 mph, that is like driving across a whole football field blind. (NJ Dept. of Law & Public Safety)
- At any given time, almost 660,000 American are using their cellphones while driving (NOPUS)
- 10% of drivers between 15 and 19 involved in fatal crashes were driving while distracted (NHTSA)
- In 2013, 480 non-occupants were killed because of distracted driving in the Unites States (NHTSA)
- Using a headset for cellphones rather than hand-held use is not significantly safer (NJ Dept. of Law & Public Safety)
When an individual gets behind the wheel, they are not only responsible for the occupants in their car, but those sharing the road. If a driver does not pay proper attention to operating their vehicle, they endanger those around them. As such, if they cause an accident, they should be held responsible. If you or a loved one was injured because the other driver was distracted, contact our New Jersey car accident attorneys.