Distracted Driving a National Epidemic

 

Four years ago, 17-year-old Allie Augello was traveling home from theater rehearsal at Bishop McLaughlin Catholic High School when a car driven by another girl crossed the centerline and hit Allie's car head-on. Everyone in the accident was killed. Investigators later discovered that the girl had been texting when she crashed into Allie's car.

 

Allie's parents are now sharing her story both to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving and to increase support for a Florida law banning the practice. Unlike many other states, Florida has not yet acted to curb distracted driving, which is emerging as a major threat on our nation's highways.

 

 

Distracted Driving Is a National Problem

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in the U.S. in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available. An additional 416,000 were estimated injured in distracted driving accidents. Overall, approximately 18 percent of all car accidents involving injuries in 2010 involved a distracted driver.

 

Distractions Are Common

While texting is the behavior most people assume with distracted driving, any activity that takes a driver's full attention away from the principal act of driving can be dangerous. Common causes of distraction include:

 

  • Using a cell phone

  • Reading, including maps

  • Using a navigation system

  • Adjusting the radio or other personal music device

 

These sorts of activities are simple, but the danger associated with performing any of them while driving is substantial. According to a study performed at Carnegie Mellon University, for example, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. Additional studies have found that sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds - at 55mph, this is equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field.

 

Perhaps the saddest aspect of stories like Allie's is that they are preventable. Public awareness, along with laws aimed at preventing distracted driving, can help prevent serious car accidents.

 

A Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

 

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident due to the negligence of another driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer can assess your case and help you get the compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering you deserve. For more information, contact a personal injury attorney today.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in the U.S. in 2010, the last year for which statistics are available. An additional 416,000 were estimated injured in distracted driving accidents. Overall, approximately 18 percent of all car accidents involving injuries in 2010 involved a distracted driver.

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