During any hour or daylight, there are over 660,000 people using their cellphones while driving in America. The distracted driving epidemic has become a common practice and is not yet regarded with the same negative stigma as drunk driving. In reality, the consequences of drunk driving are very similar to those of distracted driving. Just like a drunk driver, distracted drivers are deadly on the road, subject to lawsuits, and set a bad example in society.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Even though Missouri doesn’t yet have laws against using cell phones while driving, this doesn’t mean that distracted drivers involved in accidents are off the hook. With the rise of cell phone related accidents and fatalities, distracted driving is now an actionable case with personal injury law. Douglas Horn is amongst these attorneys who have drawn their practice’s attention to distracted driving. Personal injury law is now categorizing distracted driving under the same severity as reckless driving. If a distracted driver causes an accident and his/her cell phone records show messages being sent during the time of the crash, this implicates a reckless driver case.
Bad Example for Young Drivers
Perhaps the most alarming trait about distracted drivers is that they don’t acknowledge the dangers of cellphone use while driving. This is especially true with teenagers, as they have grown up using cell phones and are already prone to distraction. Seventy-seven percent of young drivers are very confident that they can text safely while driving while 55% claim that it’s easy. Additionally, 15% of young drivers have seen their parents text while driving, and 48% of kids aged 12-17 admit to being in a car while the driver was texting.
When young drivers see adults (especially parents) text and use cell phones while behind the wheel, they see it as acceptable behavior. If young drivers are supposed to view distracted driving in the same negative light as drunk driving, it doesn’t help if they see their own guardians practicing this act regularly. In order to make a difference with the driving culture and education in regards to distracted driving, parents need to be good examples and put the phones away.
Injuries and Deaths
Finally, distracted driving puts everyone on the road in danger. Not only is a texting driver over twice as dangerous as a drunk driver, but several distracted drivers are on the road at all times. Since 2004, there have consistently been between 3,000 and 6,000 distracted driving fatalities per year.
Since teenagers count for over half of these deaths, it’s important that they be educated on the dangers of distracted driving. Programs such as the Drive By Example High School Driver Safety program are designed to educate teenagers about the importance of being a responsible driver. By continually reminding young drivers about the proper safety precautions to driving distraction-free, they can keep the roads safer for everyone.
If you’ve been in an accident involving a driver who was engaged in a distracting activity, you may contact Doug Horn to set up a free investigation at (815) 795-7500 or fill out our online contact form. Put Attorney Doug Horn in your corner to help you fight for your rights after being injured.