Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving is an epidemic in America.
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports at least 3,000 motorists are killed and more than 416,000 are seriously injured each year in traffic collisions caused by a distracted driver.
In fact, as many as 1 in 4 crashes involve some form of distraction. Those who text message while behind the wheel may be at 23 times greater risk of being involved in a traffic crash.
Our Phoenix auto accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to determine the causes of your accident, as well as those at-fault parties responsible for damages. In some cases, an admission to police officers or a citation at the scene could go toward proving fault. However, in other cases, a thorough investigation could include cell phone records and other evidence before final causation is determined.
Phoenix Accident Lawyers – Distracted Driving Claims in AZ
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports 10 states now ban hand-held cell phone use by all drivers, all but a few states have banned texting behind the wheel. In 2013, Arizona continued to debate whether to enact various cell phone and text-messaging restrictions on adult and underage drivers.
An increasing number of studies have found hands-free devices are no safer as they do little to eliminate cognitive distraction, which is the primary cause of distracted-driving crashes. However, the truth of the matter is that we don’t need a smartphone, GPS device, or other electronic device to be distracted. Many other distractive behaviors can result in a serious or fatal crash, including eating, drinking, smoking and grooming. Distractions caused by pets in the vehicle are another growing cause for concern among safety advocates.
However, much of the blame is rightly placed on the smartphone. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, the number of fatal crashes linked to distraction increased by 50 percent from 1999 to 2008, with more than half the increase coming after 2005.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Arizona – Get the Facts
- Nearly 1 in 5 injury crashes are the result of distracted driving.
- Nearly half of teens say they’ve been in a vehicle when a driver’s cell phone use put them in danger.
- Using a phone while driving reduces brain activity focused on the road by more than one-third (37 percent).
- More than two-thirds of drivers admit to talking on their cell phone all the time.
Commercial drivers are banned under federal law from texting or using a cell phone while driving. The texting law took effect in 2011; the feds banned cell phone use by commercial drivers Jan. 1, 2012.
Young drivers are most at risk of being involved in traffic collisions based on distraction. Nearly half of all teenagers say they have been in a car when a driver’s use of a cell phone endangered passengers. Speaking to teens often about the risks of driver distraction is one important way to help reduce these risks. Signing a driving contract with your teen can also help keep them safe.
There is not yet proof that distracted-driving laws are having a positive impact on accident trends; many safety advocates contend in-car technology and the growing popularity of smartphones is outpacing safety improvements, while others argue distracted-driving laws are exacerbating accident risks as motorists do a better job of hiding their phones from view, and thus take their eyes off the road for longer periods of time.
And there is a growing body of evidence that using hands-free devices are no safer. More than 30 scientific studies have found using a cell phone – regardless of whether it’s hand-held or hands-free – requires the brain to multitask, which inevitably reduces focus on the task of driving. In fact, the National Safety Council reports drivers on the phone may be looking at – but not seeing – up to half the visual cues their brain is receiving.
Those driving for work may be at especially high risk. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports transportation accidents are the leading cause of workplace fatalities. Employers continue to enact cell phone policies in the workplace to address the risks. Companies without such policies may face additional liability in the event an employee is involved in a collision.
At any given time, the government estimates about 1 in 10 motorists are on the phone. Distraction has contributed significantly to the increase in bicycle and pedestrian injuries at intersections. Showing a motorist is distracted at the time of a collision can go toward proving fault. Determining your rights and the best course of action following a crash is always best done with the assistance of an experienced Phoenix personal injury law firm.
If you have been hurt in a collision, contact the Arizona car accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free consultation. We are available to take your call and answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191.
If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, call us now at (855) PHX-LAWYER or Contact Us online for a free case consultation.