Distracted driving occurs when an activity or situation takes the attention away from a person driving a car, truck or motorcycle, putting them at risk for an auto auto accident. It does not have to refer to a self-inflicted mistake or error in judgment, but that is most often how people think of it.
Common activities that may cause distracted driving include: using a cell phone for any reason, eating, drinking, applying makeup, using a navigational system, and adjusting the radio.
Here are some facts about distracted driving reported by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Association (NHTSA) and other organizations:
- 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes in 2015 were distraction-affected.
- Cell phone use accounted for an estimated 27% of all 2015 car crashes (National Safety Council)
- In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.
- The fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers age 20 and over (The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
- Driver distraction is responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes. (AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety)
Other situations may cause a distracted driving scenario that aren’t necessarily the fault of the driver. For example, a driver suddenly needing to avoid an accident, an animal running onto the road, or inclement weather may cause distracted driving in those moments as even an alert driver is caught off-guard.
Distracted driving may also cause a driver to travel at speeds that are faster or slower than is recommended. For more than two decades, speeding has been involved in approximately one-third of all motor vehicle fatalities. In 2017, speeding was a contributing factor in 26 percent of all traffic fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
To put distracted driving into further context, it can further be defined in four ways:
First, distracted driving can involve visual mistakes, where the driver takes his or her eyes off the road.
Second, it may involve a manual mistake when the driver removes their hands from the wheel to handle something else.
Third, a driver may make a cognitive mistake by taking his or her mind off driving.
Finally, an auditory issue involves noise that distracts a driver from driving safely.
Regardless of how a distracted incident arises, all can be extremely dangerous for the driver, passengers, and nearby motorists or pedestrians. It should be noted that any accidents involving visual, manual, cognitive, or auditory mistakes may make it more obvious which driver was at fault. In other words, it may make it easier for investigators to determine when a distracted driving incident was the cause of an accident.
Lawrence Kajy and the experienced personal injury attorneys at Kajy Law are experts in Michigan law as it pertains to car, truck and motorcycle accidents. They regularly represent clients injured in auto accidents due to negligence including distracted driving and are committed to getting you the money you deserve if you’ve suffered a serious injury.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident that may have been caused by distracted driving, call the auto accident team at Kajy Law.