The National Safety Council has released several informative reports indicating that widely accepted motor vehicle accident statistics may be flawed. In California, it was said that about 20% of car accidents were caused by distracted drivers, while new national estimates suggest the number could be as high as 50%.
According to the NSC study, a much larger number of accidents on the road are being caused by cell phone related distractions than originally thought. The claim is that often distracted drivers are not completely honest with law enforcement officers and others involved in processing car accident reports, or do not survive the crash and cannot say exactly what happened.
In addition to drivers being ashamed to admit they were not driving safely, there is a lack of consistency in the way that crash reports are written and formatted, and some investigators may overlook evidence that the driver had been using a cellphone. In these instances traffic accident records may attribute the crash to other reasons, such as being inexperienced, inattentive, or reacting improperly.
Further complications involve privacy laws and police permissions. Police are usually required to get a subpoena in order to obtain a cellphone record – which could be absolute proof of whether or not a cell phone was in use at the time.
“The bottom line is that drivers of all ages need to be responsible when behind the wheel, and take the proper measures to avoid negligence…”
The NSC’s study shows that after reviewing 180 fatal crashes in the NHTSA database from just 2009 to 2011, the number of reports for accidents involving cell phone rose from 8% to over 50%. There are weaknesses in the driving data system, but the NHTSA has admitted to this and is working hard to correct the problem.
It’s easy to see why mobile phone’s are such a huge factor in distracted driving accidents; increased cell phone availability, the advent of texting, the integration of gaming and streaming video in mobile phone, and the use of smart phone applications are a few culprits. However, the bottom line is that drivers of all ages need to be responsible when behind the wheel, and take the proper measures to avoid negligence.
“Be aware that anything that takes your attention from the road can put you, your passengers, and other people on the road at risk.”
Use a headset to make a call instead of trying to text someone. Don’t try and use your mobile device for entertainment while in the car. If there is an emergency and you cannot avoid checking your phone, take the time to pull over to the side of the road where you can safely access your phone without worrying about navigating your vehicle. Please keep in mind, that not all shoulders are a safe place to pull over. Any time you do so, use your warning lights.
Cell phones are not the only cause of distracted driving. Talking with friends, looking back to check on the kids, checking the map on your navigation system are all common examples of potentially dangerous situations. Be aware that anything that takes your attention from the road can put you, your passengers, and other people on the road at risk.
Our personal injury attorneys see many cases where cell phones were a major contributing factor to an accident. It only takes a second, and a mistake can be made that leads to a serious injury or death. If you or someone you know has been hurt in an accident like this, you are entitled to significant compensation. At Bergener Mirejovsky we can to help you and your family through the process. We will patiently listen to your story and answer any questions you have for us.
Call us today for a free consultation or evaluation at 1-800-881-2021 or use our contact form.