Americans have been told over and over that distracted driving is a problem, but it’s not clear that we’re getting the message. Crashes, injuries, and fatalities due to distracted driving have all risen in recent years, and the large spike in overall traffic fatalities has been blamed by many on distracted driving. While many safety advances in the latest vehicles make them safer in crashes, the benefit might be undermined by our own bad behavior.
Distractions Come in Many Forms
Cell phone and electronic device use—calls, texting, and Web browsing—get the most attention, but distractions come in many forms. Eating and drinking, fiddling with the radio or GPS, and simply talking with a passenger (especially for young drivers) are other distraction risks, and some of these are possibly even more dangerous.
Distracted driving has been blamed for around 10 percent of all fatal crashes in recent years, but device use has been tied to only 10 to 15 percent of all distracted driving crashes. Talking or otherwise interacting with passengers, on the other hand, was estimated in one study to be a problem before the crash in more than half of distracted driving incidents.
An Underreported Problem
If these numbers seem alarming, the reality is that the problem might be much worse. Many people who study distracted driving think that it might be significantly underreported. The National Safety Council, for instance, looked at a sample of accident reports and found that even when drivers admitted to using their phone, this was only properly reported around half the time.
More than 20 percent of the crashes in New York State in 2015 might have involved a driver on a cell phone. It’s hard to be sure what the actual numbers are, but the problem is definitely a big one.
The Danger, in Perspective
While distracted driving is a real problem, it’s also important to remember that it’s not the only problem drivers face. Speeding, for instance, is known to be a factor in about one-third of fatal crashes. And while there has been campaign after campaign (as well as repeated tightening of laws) to stop drivers from using alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel, driving while under the influence (DWI) is still a major problem: Drunk driving is also a factor in around one-third of fatal crashes.
Of course, none of these dangerous decisions rules out any of the others, and it’s true that multiple causes can be behind any crash. Combining any of them is a recipe for disaster.
New York City Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer
New Yorkers, just like other drivers, don’t always make the safest choices. Despite knowing the risks, they still drive with distractions. Statewide, around a quarter of a million tickets have been written every year since 2011 just for cell phone use and texting. It’s inevitable that some New Yorkers will be harmed in crashes caused by distracted drivers.
If you find yourself a victim of a distracted driving crash, turn to the team at Greenstein & Milbauer, LLP. Our experienced attorneys have helped thousands of clients with their motor vehicle accident cases, including many that have involved distracted drivers. Every client is entitled to a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss his or her case, so give us a call today at 1-800-VICTIM2 (842-8462) or contact us online through the form below to schedule yours.