The use of cellphones, smartphones and other devices seems ubiquitous today. The National Safety Council says that distracted driving related to the use of technological devices is an epidemic. For that reason, the safety advocacy group has declared April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Many people in the Chicago area may be aware that distracted driving occurs – but most people are likely unaware how frequently the problem occurs on our roads.
In late 2016 and early 2017, Zendrive conducted a large-scale study to determine how widespread the problem has become, according to KXLY News. Between December 2016 and February of this year the driving analytics company analyzed 570 million car trips that traveled a combined 3.6 billion miles. The study revealed that distracted driving is not as occasional as you may think.
How Often Do You Use A Cellphone In The Car?
In 88 of every 100 car trips the study found that the driver used a wireless phone in some fashion. For every hour on the road, drivers spent an average of 3-and-a-half minutes using their phone. At 60 miles per hour, a car travels 3.5 miles in that time frame. Accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.
Researchers at Virginia Tech say that the act of dialing a cellphone increases the risk of being involved in an accident by 12 times, according to the recent news account. A driver does not have to answer or dial a phone to increase danger – merely reaching for a cellphone while behind the wheel increases the risk of an accident 5 times.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recognizes that cellphones alone are not the only source of distraction for drivers. Eating food, putting on makeup, grooming hair and even talking to passengers is distracting and increases the risk of an accident. In this month that is dedicated to distracted driving awareness, it is impossible to overlook the data. In 2015 alone nearly 3,500 people lost their lives due to a distracted driver, according to the NHTSA. The safety organization says that 391,000 people were injured that same year in distracted driving car accidents.
If you or a loved one has suffered personal injury due to the negligence of a distracted driver, speaking with a seasoned lawyer can help you to understand your rights.