It has become customary and almost completely acceptable to see people walking around most public places glued to their cell phones or their smartphones. Walking is one thing, but driving is another. According to the NHTSA over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. Texting and cell phone use were top reasons for these types of crashes.
The NHTSA explains that there are three types of distractions when driving:
Visual: effects your line of sight
Manual: hands are not on the wheel
Cognitive: brian is thinking about something other than driving
Texting involves all three of these types of distractions and can cause a driver to look away from the road for over 4 seconds. This is like driving 55 mph for 120 yards, blindfolded.
Cell phone use was reported to cause 18% of distracted driving fatalities in the US. The University of Utah conducted a study and found that the effects of cell phone use when driving are similar to the effects of driving drunk.
Phones immediately come to mind as a distracter, but the NHTSA lists other factors that can contribute to crashes under the description of distracted driving. They include:
Watching a video
Using a GPS
Working the radio
Talking to other passengers
In addition to 3,331 deaths in 2011, 387,000 people were injured due to some form of distracted driving. We live in a fast paced society where most of us are busy with work, school and families. Distracted driving is very common and can have devastating effects. If you or a loved one has suffered injury or death at the hands of a distracted driver, contact your NY state car accident attorney for help.