The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is raising awareness about the dangers and costs associated with distracted driving. Their third distracted driving campaign, “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” is all about reminding drivers of the deadly consequences of texting while driving. Distracted driving has become a nationwide epidemic. In 2014, 3,129 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers, and hundreds of thousands more were injured. Sine 2009, the U.S. DOT has held two national distracted driving summits, banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers, encouraged states to adopt tough laws and launched several advertising campaigns to raise public awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
Distracted Driving by The Numbers
- In 2014, 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving crashes.
- 10 percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.
- As of December 2014, 169.3 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. each month.
- Drivers in their 20s made up 38 percent of the distracted drivers who were using cell phones in fatal crashes in 2014.
- At any given daylight moment across the U.S. approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
According to the U.S. DOT, five seconds is the average amount of time your eyes are off of the road while reading or sending a text message. If you’re going 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blindfolded. You would never close your eyes for five seconds, but for some reason, drivers are still taking the incredibly dangerous risk of looking at their phones instead of the road.
Distracted Driving Accidents in San Diego
Since distracted driving is still considered to be widely under reported, it can often take additional investigative efforts to determine if a driver was distracted at the time of a crash. Equally important, drivers need to know texting behind the wheel isn’t the only form of distracted driving. Eating, socializing with passengers, grooming and other behaviors can also be considered distractions. The best way to stay safe and improve roadway safety for other users is to focus fully on the road and the task of driving.
If a distracted driver has injured you, contact Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. at 1.800.GO.HARRIS.