The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has introduced a new measure of fatal accidents that involve distracted driving called “distraction-affected crashes.” The NHTSA started this measure in 2010 as a way to collect better data about accidents where a driver may have been distracted.
This new method focuses more narrowly on the different possible distractions that could lead to an accident, such as texting, dialing a phone number, or receiving an incoming call. Using this more detailed measure, the NHTSA estimated that 3,092 deaths in 2010 were as a result of a distraction-affected crash. This distracted driving statistic translates to one fatal accident related to cell phone or other distractions out of every eleven traffic accident fatalities.
The NHTSA also conducted a survey that revealed drivers’ attitudes towards distracted driving and their behavior when it comes to cell phone use. The results of the survey determined that more than three-quarters of drivers would answer calls on all, most or some trips. In addition, drivers do not often take traffic situations into account when choosing whether or not to use their phone. Ironically, despite these reponses from drivers about their personal cell phone use, almost all of these drivers said that they feel very unsafe when riding with a person who is texting while driving.
While this data may seem like a small step in determining the cause and prevention of “distraction-affected crashes,” any step taken towards reducing the number of deaths caused by distracted driving is better than none. The NHTSA has also been working on improving the reporting forms that officers use when an accident takes place.
In South Carolina, it is not illegal to talk on your cell phone while driving; however, as evidenced by the startling number of distraction-affected crashes, it is better to wait until you are parked to use your cell phone. Driving on South Carolina roads deserves all of your attention and just a few seconds of distraction could lead to a devastating crash.
If you have been injured in an accident where a driver’s distraction contributed to the accident, then you may have a potential personal injury case against that driver. Contact Shelly Leeke Law Firm at 1-888-690-0211 to set up a free case evaluation appointment.