Distracted Driving Fatalities Continue to Rise as Technology Advances

Man driving a car while using a cell phone with one hand.

Despite recent advances in traffic and vehicle safety, traffic deaths are estimated remained at a 10-year-high set in 2016. Experts believe this jump in traffic-related deaths demonstrates the effects the distracted driving epidemic is having on the country.

U.S. Records Sharpest Increase in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years

According to Fortune, U.S. fatalities increased a staggering 7.2-percent to 35,092 in 2015, the largest single-year increase on record since 1966. By 2016, that number of deaths had increased to 37,461.

Over previous decades, traffic deaths had actually been on the decline thanks to increased use of seatbelts, decreases in the number of drunk drivers on the road, and technological improvements such as airbags and electronic stability control.

However, just as technological advances have helped make vehicles safer, they may also be contributing to dangerous driver behaviors. In fact, 10% of the 35,092 traffic deaths recorded by the National Highway Traffic Administration in 2015 were attributed to distracted driving.

Distracted driving is not limited to cell phones, either. Handling tablets, adjusting GPS, and fiddling with touch screen entertainment and radio consoles are all dangerous new behaviors which drivers were not able to participate in over past decades. Combine these with other distractions, like eating behind the wheel, adjusting mirrors and climate controls, and interacting with passengers, and it is little wonder why distracted driving has become so prevalent.

How Common Is Distracted Driving?

We all know that distracted driving is a regular occurrence. We see it every day. However, just how many distracted drivers are on the road at any given moment is troublesome.

According to data from Everquote, for every 11 miles driven, the average driver is on the phone for about half a mile. Additionally, while 96% of drivers surveyed said he or she was a safe driver, data from an app called Everdrive determined that 96% of all drivers also used their phones while driving at least once over the past 30 days.

Perhaps one of the major factors behind distracted driving is the feeling that a near immediate response to phone calls and text messages is necessary.

In another poll referenced by Fortune, about 55% of respondents said they feel they need to respond to a text message in 5 minutes or less. Just under one-quarter of respondents felt an immediate response was necessary.

Contact an Experienced Distracted Driving Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car crash, contact Thomas J. Henry. Our experienced auto accident attorneys have experience handling a multitude of injury accidents, no matter how severe the crash or injury. You may be entitled to compensation for your damages if another driver acted negligently. Our firm has the experienced lawyers and financial resources that you need to achieve the real results you deserve.

Our firm has offices in Corpus ChristiSan AntonioAustin, and Houston, serving clients across Texas and nationwide. Call us today for a free case review — attorneys are available 24/7, nights and weekends. If you cannot make it to our office, we can visit you at your home, in the hospital, or at work.

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