The number of pedestrians and bicyclists being killed in accidents linked to distracted driving is on the rise.
According to a recent report in Public Health, data showed the number of bicyclists killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers increased a staggering 30%. Back in 2005, there were 56 fatalities involving bicyclists killed by distracted drivers. In contrast, bicyclist fatalities caused by distracted driving rose to 73 fatalities in 2010.
Pedestrian fatalities also increased over the same period of time. Pedestrian fatalities caused by drivers who were using their GPS devices, talking on cell phones, or snacking at the wheel, increased by almost 50%, totaling 500 fatalities in 2010.
I don’t think that there is any doubt that the cell phone is responsible for the epidemic of distracted driving that is sweeping across the nation. While motor vehicle occupants have a host of technologies at their disposal to reduce the risk of being seriously injured in an distracted driving accident, pedestrians and bicyclists do not have that luxury.
That is not to say that motorists are not at risk from distracted drivers. In fact, in 2011, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 3,000 people were killed in car accidents caused by distracted drivers. Additionally, experts believe that the actual number of distracted driving accident fatalities in this country is underestimated. This is because many distractions like using a call phone, eating food, or attending to a child, are difficult to spot and, therefore, under reported.
Douglas R. Horn is a Kansas City Injury Lawyer, who concentrates in representing victims of motor vehicle accidents. His home office is in Independence, Missouri. In addition to his law practice, Horn devotes a significant amount of his time to driver safety issues. He frequently works with high schools, community colleges, community groups, and others to advance driver protection. Horn is also founder of Drive By Example, a driver safety initiative dedicated to the prevention of distracted driving.