Distracted driving is an epidemic in America and an epidemic in Arizona. This generation is riddled with people who are stuck with their phone in their hand who seem to not be able to put it down for even a short drive to the grocery store. The problem with distracted driving is that it's a sneaky killer. A person who drives distracted thinks that is not a problem or not dangerous because they get away with it for so long; but then one day, they don't. Read on to learn more about distracted driving accidents in Arizona from our Phoenix car accident lawyers.
Statistics on Distracted Driving
The U.S. Department of Transportation reports at least 3,000 motorists are killed and more than 416,000 are seriously injured each year in traffic collisions caused by a distracted driver. In fact, as many as 1 in 4 crashes involve some form of distraction. Those who text message while behind the wheel may be at 23 times greater risk of being involved in a traffic crash.
Phoenix Accidents Linked to Distracted Driving
Our Phoenix auto accident attorneys have the knowledge and experience necessary to determine the causes of your accident, as well as those at-fault parties responsible for damages. In some cases, an admission to police officers or a citation at the scene could go toward proving fault. However, in other cases, a thorough investigation could include cell phone records and other evidence before final causation is determined.
Phoenix Accident Lawyers – Distracted Driving Claims in AZ
The Governors Highway Safety Association reports 10 states now ban hand-held cell phone use by all drivers, all but a few states have banned texting behind the wheel. In 2013, Arizona continued to debate whether to enact various cell phone and text-messaging restrictions on adult and underage drivers.
Forms of Distraction on the Road
An increasing number of studies have found hands-free devices are no safer as they do little to eliminate cognitive distraction, which is the primary cause of distracted-driving crashes. However, the truth of the matter is that we don’t need a smartphone, GPS device, or other electronic device to be distracted. Many other distractive behaviors can result in a serious or fatal crash, including eating, drinking, smoking and grooming. Distractions caused by pets in the vehicle are another growing cause for concern among safety advocates. Additionally, passengers and children in the car can be distractions to drivers who turn their attention away from the road.
Any type of behavior that distracts a driver puts them at risk of causing an accident because of the delayed reaction they will have to either slowing or stopping cars or cars entering the flow of traffic, along with pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists.
There are many distractions available to drivers. However, much of the blame is rightly placed on the smartphone. According to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health, the number of fatal crashes linked to distraction increased by 50 percent from 1999 to 2008, with more than half the increase coming after 2005.
Distracted Driving Accidents in Arizona – get the Facts
- Nearly 1 in 5 injury crashes are the result of distracted driving.
- Nearly half of teens say they’ve been in a vehicle when a driver’s cell phone use put them in danger.
- Using a phone while driving reduces brain activity focused on the road by more than one-third (37 percent).
- More than two-thirds of drivers admit to talking on their cell phone all the time.
Distracted Truckers are Dangerous to Everyone on the Road
Commercial drivers are banned under federal law from texting or using a cell phone while driving. The texting law took effect in 2011; the feds banned cell phone use by commercial drivers Jan. 1, 2012. This was for good reason as many truck drivers drive long distances and for many hours so are at an increased risk of drowsiness on the road or drug use.
Plus since commercial trucks are so much larger than cars, motorcycles, bikes, and pedestrians, the impacts they can have on them in the event of an accident can be fatal.
Teen Drivers are Especially Prone to Distracted Driving
Young drivers are most at risk of being involved in traffic collisions based on distraction. Nearly half of all teenagers say they have been in a car when a driver’s use of a cell phone endangered passengers. Speaking to teens often about the risks of driver distraction is one important way to help reduce these risks. Signing a driving contract with your teen can also help keep them safe.
Parents and guardians of teen drivers should take extra precautions to educate their kids on driving safely. This includes driving distraction-free from either their phones or from passengers. A simple way for parents to do this is to model positive driving behaviors for their teen drivers. As they say, kids do as they see.
Laws on Distracted Driving
There is not yet proof that distracted-driving laws are having a positive impact on accident trends; many safety advocates contend in-car technology and the growing popularity of smartphones is outpacing safety improvements, while others argue distracted-driving laws are exacerbating accident risks as motorists do a better job of hiding their phones from view, and thus take their eyes off the road for longer periods of time.
Do Hands Free Devices Limit Distractions for Drivers?
And there is a growing body of evidence that using hands-free devices are no safer. More than 30 scientific studies have found using a cell phone – regardless of whether it’s hand-held or hands-free – requires the brain to multitask, which inevitably reduces focus on the task of driving. In fact, the National Safety Council reports drivers on the phone may be looking at – but not seeing – up to half the visual cues their brain is receiving.
Those driving for work may be at especially high risk. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports transportation accidents are the leading cause of workplace fatalities. Employers continue to enact cell phone policies in the workplace to address the risks. Companies without such policies may face additional liability in the event an employee is involved in a collision.
Proving Fault in Distracted Driving
At any given time, the government estimates about 1 in 10 motorists are on the phone. Distraction has contributed significantly to the increase in bicycle and pedestrian injuries at intersections. Showing a motorist is distracted at the time of a collision can go toward proving fault. Determining your rights and the best course of action following a crash is always best done with the assistance of an experienced Phoenix personal injury law firm.
When to Contact a Distracted Driving Attorney
If you have been hurt in a collision, contact the Phoenix personal injury accident lawyers at Abels & Annes, P.C. for a free consultation. We are available to take your call and answer questions 24 hours a day, seven days a week toll free at (855) 749-5299 or locally at (602) 819-5191.