No doubt that the words distracted and driving should not appear together. For sure, operating a motor vehicle of any type requires concentration. Yet, each and every day, there are reports of accidents whose root cause was related to distracted driving. Unfortunately, many crashes will result in fatal consequences.
Distracted driving also causes its fair share of problems for emergency personnel responding to motor vehicle crashes. A recent news article reported on the collaboration of several state agencies to protect emergency responders. In citing the problem, one official suggested that educating drivers is critical as it only takes five seconds of distraction to travel the length of a football field at 55 MPH.
Meanwhile, there are other gruesome statistics. Imagine that approximately nine fatalities a day are attributed to distracted driving. Unfortunately, teen drivers are more often involved in accidents caused by a failure to pay complete attention to the road. It may be a feeling of invincibility, or just a need to be in constant hands-on contact with the outside world.
Distracted Driving Comes In All Forms
Pennsylvania does have a law banning text-based communications. According to the statute, drivers are prohibited from using wireless devices to “send, read or write a text-based communication while the vehicle is in motion.” Unfortunately, some still ignore the law and are content to deal with the minimal fine associated with the offense.
The failure to use a hands-free device is just one example of distracted driving. You may have encountered someone doing any of the following:
- Reading a book or newspapers while behind the wheel
- Changing clothes
- Eating or drinking without hands on the wheel
- Putting on makeup
- Shaving or engaging in other personal grooming
In the meantime, a driver may become distracted picking up items from the floor or attending to children. GPS units may also create a form of distraction.
Distracted Driving Accidents
Incredibly, most distracted driving accidents happen when the motor vehicle is traveling in a forward motion. For whatever reason, drivers tend to pay more attention when they are going in reverse.
Distracted drivers cause accidents by going through red lights, stop signs, and uncontrolled intersections. They often fail to keep up with traffic or speed excessively. Some distracted driving wrecks happen when a driver misses a turn and attempts to backtrack.
The bottom line is that distracted driving accounts for at least 25% of all motor vehicle crashes. Many times the injuries are severe and result in an accumulation of medical bills and permanent issues.
Were you injured as a result of a car or truck accident involving a distracted driver? Our law firm has substantial experience handling these types of claims. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli to see how we can help you.