The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children aged 4 and for every age 11 through 27. The mission of the NHTSA is to reduce the numbers of injuries, deaths, and economic losses caused by motor vehicle crashes. In 2011, 32,367 people were killed in approximately 5,338,000 police-reported car accidents, and another 2,217,000 people were injured that same year. (NHTSA) In 2011, an average of 89 people died every day in motor vehicle crashes, amounting to 1 every 16 minutes.
A substantial number of the annual fatalities are directly caused by distracted drivers. The NHTSA reports that in 2011 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. Since 2009, the U.S. Department of Transportation has been working towards putting a stop to texting while driving, it has held two national distracted driving summits, it has banned texting and cell phone use for commercial drivers, and it has encouraged states to adopt tough anti-texting laws.
Driver distraction simply refers to engaging in any activity that takes your attention away from the primary task of driving. Distracted driving involves three elements: visual distraction (taking your eyes off the road), manual distraction (taking your hands off the wheel), and cognitive distraction (taking your mind off the task of driving). While there are many forms of distracted driving, the most alarming form is texting while driving because it involves all three forms of distraction. Other common forms of distracted driving include:
- Eating while driving
- Using a cell phone or hands free device
- Reading books, maps or directions
- Operating the radio, a navigational system, a CD or MP3 player
- Applying cosmetics
Did you know that texting takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds? That's equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded at 55 mph. While the laws against texting while driving and using a cellular phone while driving vary from state to state, in the state of Maryland there is a ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free), and this includes a statewide ban against texting while driving.
If you were injured because of a distracted driver, we urge you to contact a Frederick personal injury attorney from The Law Office of John r. Discavage, P.A. to discuss filing a claim for compensation.