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Data Indicates Distracted Driving Accidents on the Rise

April 12, 2022
Colson Hicks Eidson

It is imperative that anyone operating a motor vehicle pay attention to the road and their surroundings. Distracted driving can result in accidents that may leave victims with serious injuries or even claim their lives.

Unfortunately, distracted driving remains a significant cause of motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Statistical analyses also indicate that accidents resulting from distracted driving may be on the rise.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2020, distracted driving accidents resulted in the deaths of 3,142 individuals in the US. You may be able to guess why distracted driving is becoming an increasingly common cause of injuries and deaths on America’s roads: the rise in smartphone ownership.

Using a phone or any electronic device while driving naturally prevents someone from paying attention to other motorists, hazards, and the condition of their own vehicle. Unfortunately, because smartphones are easily accessible for many drivers these days, it’s not uncommon for motorists to ignore the risks involved in sending texts, checking email, and even changing songs on a playlist when they should be focusing solely on operating their vehicles safely.

This is not to say that measures can’t be taken to reduce the frequency of accidents resulting from distracted driving. According to a recent report, although the usage of electronic devices has contributed to an increase in distracted driving accidents, this problem is more significant in some places than in others. Areas, where the rate of distracted driving accidents is relatively low, tend to be areas that supplement strong enforcement of traffic laws with outreach and public education programs. Thus, lawmakers and agencies in regions where distracted driving accidents are fairly common should study these examples and determine what policies they can adopt and what strategies they can implement to make improvements.

There are also steps individual drivers can take to minimize the chances that they will cause accidents because they were distracted behind the wheel. Ideally, a driver should turn their phone off when they are operating their vehicle, but in an age when many of us are constantly connected to our devices, it is unlikely that all drivers will feel comfortable doing so.

There are alternative options to consider when a driver is unwilling to completely shut their phone off. For example, there are various apps motorists can download that serve to ensure they won’t be alerted to any notifications while they are driving. This can reduce a driver’s temptation to check their phone every time they hear it ring or feel it buzz.

Drivers should also consider how seemingly “harmless” behaviors can also distract them from paying attention to the road. For example, many drivers don’t realize that simply eating while driving actually has the potential to cause an accident.

That said, even if you are a responsible motorist who strives to avoid being distracted behind the wheel, you might still one day be harmed in a distracted driving accident if someone else was careless. Our team of Florida distracted driving accident attorneys at Colson Hicks Eidson can help you pursue any compensation for which you may be eligible if this occurs. To learn more about what we can do for you, contact us online or call us at 305-476-7400 to schedule your free consultation.