Despite more restrictive laws across the country to reduce distracted driving, particularly when it involves talking and texting on cellphones, the number of people dying in accidents involving a distracted driver is increasing at a record rate. Last year, over 40,000 people lost their lives because of distracted driving — their own or someone else’s.
While teens tend to get blamed for distracted driving accidents, in fact, drivers of all ages are guilty of this dangerous habit. Over a third of all drivers text while driving, according to insurer State Farm.
Unfortunately, new teen drivers who have been watching their parents text, talk and engage in other tasks while driving their entire lives can easily continue the cycle. As one State Farm executive noted, “When they get behind the wheel, if they’ve been watching you use the phone, if they would rather use the phone it’s gonna be hard to break that habit and get them driving safely from the get go.”
Increasingly, law enforcement officers are able to determine whether drivers were using their phones in the seconds before a crash. This can help investigators identify the cause of the accident, even if an at-fault driver isn’t willing to admit it.
Anyone injured in a car crash as the result of a reckless or negligent driver may want to consider taking civil legal action to help cover the costs of their medical treatment, physical therapy, lost wages and other damages. If law enforcement investigators determine that the at-fault driver was texting, talking on the phone or otherwise distracted in the accident, that information can be used by your attorney to bolster your case.
Source: NBC News, “Your Car Insurance Rates Are Going Up Because Everyone Keeps Texting and Driving,” Jo Ling Kent and Chiara Sottile, Feb. 25, 2017