Distracted driving is broadly defined as anything that could take a driver’s focus off of his or her primary task. Examples of distracted driving include using a cellphone to call or send a text message, which is against the law in Maryland and many other states, or eating or drinking while driving. Something as simple as talking to another passenger or adjusting the settings on the radio or CD player could also be thought of as distracting.
Distracted driving tends to occur more often in younger drivers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 27 percent of distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents were in their 20s. Drivers under the age of 20 made up 10 percent of all drivers who were deemed to be distracted at the time of a fatal crash. However, all drivers can find themselves in situations where they are distracted while behind the wheel.
At any given time, it is estimated that there are approximately 660,000 drivers using a cellphone or some other electronic device. That number has stayed relatively steady since 2010 according to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, which is conducted by the NHTSA. On average, it takes five seconds to send a text message according to statistics from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. If a driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour, that is enough time to cover the length of an entire football field.
Car accidents caused by those texting while driving may result in serious injuries. Those who have been injured in a car crash caused by a distracted driver or any driver may wish to contact a personal injury attorney who may be able to obtain compensation to pay for medical bills as well as lost wages or future earnings.
Source: Distraction.gov, “What is Distracted Driving?”, December 22, 2014