We previously blogged about teenage driving and the fact that car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers. Overall inexperience behind the wheel is one of the major factors that contribute to a higher risk of car accidents for teens. However, many accidents are also attributed to cell phone use. In today’s day and age, it is commonplace to find teenagers talking and texting on their Blackberries and iPhones while driving.
As a response to the increased use of cell phones in vehicles, states have started to pass distracted driving laws to prevent use. Currently, nine states prohibit all drivers from using hand-held phones while driving, while 34 states have banned text messaging for all drivers. No state has banned all cell phone use for all drivers.
Cell phone use is just one of the many activities that drivers engage in that can distract them from their primary task of driving their vehicle. Still, any activity that diverts a driver’s attention from the road is considered a distraction. Along with cell phone use, these activities may include eating, drinking, using a GPS device, talking, grooming, reading directions or maps, watching portable televisions, or changing the radio station.
Distracted driving is a very serious and potentially fatal problem. According to distracted driving statistics compiled by Oklahoma Law, distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident compared to drunk drivers who are seven times as likely to cause one, making them some of the most dangerous drivers on the road. In 2009, out of 33,808 car crash deaths, reports indicate that 16%, or 5,474, could be attributed to driver distraction. Even more staggering is that research suggests up to 80% of driver deaths could have involved distraction.
If you have been involved in a car crash involving a distracted driver, please contact the Oklahoma car accident attorneys at McIntyre Law.