“Keep your eyes on the road.” Any experienced driver has probably heard these words more than they can count. Even if you have not, chances are you have seen the T.V. commercials or billboards or downloaded an app designed to help you from becoming distracted while you are operating an automobile that can become a deadly weapon in the time it takes to read a text.
There have been plenty of reminders. Public service announcements from nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies, even phone companies are trying to raise awareness of the potential dangers of driving while distracted.
Laws penalize drivers more harshly. Insurance hit their clients’ wallets harder, but the instances of distracted continue to rise in Massachusetts.
If your life has been altered by a distracted driver, you should contact Boston personal injury attorneys, Colucci Colucci & Marcus, P.C.
Dialing and Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sending or reading texts takes at least five seconds. That may seem like a blink, but at 55 mph, it is like closing your eyes and driving the length of a football field. Two seconds is the maximum amount of time a driver can safely divert their attention from the road.
In a recent NHTSA survey, almost all of the drivers surveyed (96%) considered themselves safe drivers, but over half (56%) admitted they have used a phone while driving. Even a hands-free phone call is four times more distracting than talking to adult passengers.
About 60% of surveyed drivers believe texting is only acceptable if they have a hands-free option, but 34% said it was okay for emergencies. More than 30% of teens admitted to texting and driving, and alarmingly, 11 teens die from car crashes caused by texting each day.
The statistics concerning distractions from phone usage are shocking. Just a few of these include:
- Being 23 times more likely to crash while reading or writing a text
- Being 12 times more likely to crash while dialing a phone
- 8% of those surveyed have watched videos while driving
- 25% of drivers used a cell phone right before a crash
Dozens Of Distractions
Phones are not the only issue. More than 60% of distracted driving crashes happened because of daydreaming drivers. While talking to adult passengers is relatively safe, talking to children can be 12 times more distracting than a hands-free phone call. Crying makes you 10 times more likely to crash.
Of the surveyed, 80% also admitted to dangerous behaviors like:
- Changing clothes
- Applying makeup
- Painting finger and toenails
- Steering with afoot
- Styling their hair
- Shaving while driving
- Engaging in sexual activity
How The Numbers Add Up?
Texting while driving has been banned in 47 states. Even holding a phone while driving has been banned in 15 states, but the true number of distracted drivers can go under-reported because many states do not add a field or code on their crash-report forms.
Do not let these numbers stack up against you. If you or a loved one has been impacted by a distracted driver, contact Boston personal injury attorneys of Colucci Colucci & Marcus, P.C. for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or by calling 617-917-3917.