Distracted and Impaired Driving Crashes

Distracted driving is driving while engaging in any activity that takes the driver’s attention off of the road in front of them, including talking on the phone, eating and drinking, talking to passengers in your vehicle, using the radio, fiddling with the navigation system, or texting. Any activity that reduces a driver’s attention on the road in front of them increases the driver’s risk of crashing.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving killed 2,841 people in 2018, including 1,703 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists.

Texting is widely considered the most dangerous form of distracted driving.  Sending a text can distract a driver for upwards of five seconds.  If a driver is traveling at 55 miles per hour while texting, the driver could cover the length of a football field without looking at the road.

Most states now have laws in place against distracted driving, as a personal injury lawyer, like from the Law Office of Paul Englander, PLC, can explain. Some laws include talking on the phone or texting while driving.

In order to reduce the number of distracted drivers, teens can become involved on social media to remind their friends and family not to drive distracted, as well as speak up if they see their peers engaging in distracted driving.  Parents can lead by example and avoid distracted driving, as well as remind their teen drivers that a violation of distracted-driving laws could result in a suspended license, and other penalties.  Educators and employers can spread the word against distracted driving in their school or workplace, encouraging students and coworkers to avoid the practice.

Driving while impaired is another type of distracted driving.  Every day in the United Sates, about 30 people die in a motor vehicle accident that involves an impaired driver, amounting to one death every 51 minutes

In 2016, almost 10,500 people were killed in accidents involving an impaired driver. According to the CDC, an average of 10,000 people die every year in drunk-driving crashes.

Of the more than 1,200 traffic deaths of children aged 0–14 years in 2016, about 17% were the result of an impaired driver.

Every state in the U.S. has made it illegal for a person to drive with a blood alcohol concentration level at or above 0.08.  About 33% of all motor vehicle accident deaths in the United Sates involve a driver with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher.

According to the CDC, men are more likely than women to be drunk-driving and cause a fatal accident, with 21% of males compared to 14% of females driving drunk in fatal accidents in 2016.

Drugs and substances other than alcohol, both legal and illegal, are involved in motor vehicle accidents about 16% of the time.

13% of nighttime, weekend drivers are under the influence of marijuana.  Marijuana users were almost 25% more likely to be involved in a vehicle crash than those who do not use marijuana.

Following a crash with injuries, a personal injury attorney can be consulted to address a possible claim for injuries and damages.  There should be no fee for a consultation, there should be no fees unless a settlement is obtained.