Although AAA and other road safety organizations have worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the risks of distracted driving, drivers in this country still seem reluctant to put down their cell phone. In 2015, more than 3,400 fatalities were caused by distracted driving. Current research shows that nearly half of drivers admit to looking at their phones while driving. So which drivers are most likely to text and drive and what can be done to stop them?
Pennsylvania has seen its share of tragic distracted driving crashes. In 2017, a 12-year-old girl was fatally injured as she crossed the street with her younger siblings behind her. Police discovered the driver, who was just 21 years old at the time of the accident, was sending messages on Facebook at the time of the crash.
This is just one of thousands of fatal motor vehicle accidents across the country that could have been prevented. According a recent survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 97 percent of drivers acknowledge that using the phone behind the wheel is dangerous, yet half of those drivers admit to reading a text or email while driving during the previous month. More than one-third of them admit to typing a text or email while driving.
Current statistics show that teens are more likely to be involved in distracted driving car accidents than any other age group. Teens text behind the wheel and are involved in more fatal distracted driving crashes than older drivers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As novice drivers, teens may not fully understand the power of a motor vehicle and how quickly they can lose control when taking their eyes off the road.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration equates a driver traveling at a speed of 55 miles per hour looking down at their phone for just five seconds with driving the length of a football field blindfolded. What happens in those five seconds can be catastrophic.
In Pennsylvania, police are issuing costly citations to cut down on distracted driving. Last year, distracted driving tickets increased 52 percent across the state. In some counties, distracted driving tickets tripled. If public service messages are not making a difference, maybe Pennsylvania drivers will listen to their wallets and put down the phone to avoid costly citations and insurance premium increases.
When it comes to breaking unhealthy habits, a driver’s cell phone may be their best tool. Many effective and easy to use cell phone apps are available to prevent distracted driving. These apps are designed to shut down access to the internet and messaging once the car is in operation. Some apps even record good and bad driver habits and send the data to parents to reward safe driving with cash and gift cards.
Distracted driving is still a severe problem throughout the country. When careless Pennsylvania drivers injure others, their victims deserve justice. Chester County car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. fight for compensation to pay for surgeries, hospitalizations, and other injury-related expenses victims face after an accident. Call 610-565-3700 or contact us online to schedule a free case review today. Our offices are conveniently located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, where we assist clients in Chester County, Delaware County, and Philadelphia County.