Dallas Law Firm Blog

Distraction is Vastly Underrated as a Cause of Vehicle Deaths

In today’s world, people are constantly dealing with distractions. Unfortunately, getting behind the wheel of a vehicle doesn’t make these distractions go away. In fact, many people become more distracted when they try to drive. When drivers operate vehicles while distracted, they are more likely to cause or be involved in accidents that may lead to injuries or death.

Government agencies and research firms collect data to determine the impact of distracted driving. However, the estimates they have developed are likely much lower than they should be.

What Is Distracted Driving?

When operating a vehicle, the driver’s primary focus should be on the road. Looking away for even a few seconds can lead to accidents that could have been avoided.

Distracted driving occurs when any other activity takes the driver’s attention away from operating the vehicle safely. Some of the most common causes of distracted driving include:

  • Talking on a cellphone
  • Texting
  • Talking to other people in the vehicle
  • Adjusting the radio
  • Adjusting climate control
  • Thinking about something else distracting, such as an argument with someone or an upcoming event.

When the driver is distracted, he or she won’t react as quickly to events occurring on the road. In addition, he or she is more likely to make mistakes that lead to accidents.

Distracted Driving Statistics

Prior to 2015, deaths on United States roadways were declining steadily. However, the number of annual deaths has increased over the past two years by 14.4 percent. In 2016, more than 100 people died every day on or near U.S. roadways.  One possible reason for this increase is the use of mobile phones for talking and texting, which has become much more widespread since 2015. In addition, more people have begun communicating via text instead of talking, which is even more distracting to drivers.

However, data doesn’t attribute as many deaths to distracted driving as it should. In fact, during 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration attributed only 1.4 percent of traffic fatalities to mobile phone use. This number likely should have been higher, given that many of the fatalities occurred when drivers were driving their vehicles straight down the road, with no complicating factors. Many of these fatalities also involved pedestrians and bicycles, indicating the motorists weren’t being as vigilant as they should be.

Getting Justice for Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted driving is illegal, and it can lead to serious injuries and even death. If you or someone you love was injured or killed because of distracted driving, you can take legal action. Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, lost earning ability, lost quality of life, and more.

At Guajardo & Marks of Dallas, we have more than 50 years of combined experience in the industry. Over the years, we have built a large body of knowledge, and we have honed our litigation skills. With our help, you can get the compensation and justice you deserve. Please contact us today by calling 972-774-9800 or filling out our online contact form.