New technology has also brought more threats to safe driving. Using personal electronic devices and more conventional distractions such as eating and talking have led to serious and even fatal distracted driving accidents.
Over 90 percent of car accidents involve motorist error. Being alert and paying attention can help prevent these crashes. But distracted driving impedes a motorist’s visual, manual, and cognitive abilities.
There were 2,841 fatalities in distracted driving accidents in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is a 12 percent drop from the 3,242 fatalities in 2017 and the third consecutive annual decline.
There were 2,628 fatal distracted driving crashes in 2018. A fatal accident is a crash where there were one or more fatalities. This was the third consecutive annual drop from the high of 3,242 fatal accidents in 2015.
The number of distraction injury crashes was 260,000 in 2011, rose to 297,000 in 2014 and dropped to 276,000 in 2018. There were also 659,000 distracted driving accidents which only involved property damage in 2018.
Cell phone use
According to the NHTSA, 9.7 percent of motorists used some type of handheld or hands-free phone during typical daylight times in 2018. The percent of fatal distraction accidents involving cell phone use was 13.3 percent in 2018 compared to 13.9 percent in 2017. Drivers seen with visible headsets stayed low at 2.1 percent in 2018.
More alarming, the percent of motorists using hand-held devices increased 1,500 percent from 0.2 percent in 2005 to 3.2 percent in 2018. There was a decrease from the record 4.3 percent use in 2014. Use of these devices involved, according to NHTSA observations, text messaging and devices such as MP3 players.
Even though there has been some improvement, motorists continue to suffer injuries from another driver texting and driving, using a hand-held device, or even eating or adjusting their vehicle’s entertainment system. An attorney can help pursue these cases and the right to compensation for injuries and other losses.