It is hard to imagine a life without smartphones. If you are like many other Alabama residents, your smartphone probably goes with you almost everywhere, and that includes in the car. It can be tempting to look at your phone while driving, but since you are a safe driver, you never do. Not everyone else on the road feels the same though, which is why there are more distracted drivers than ever before.
Looking at a smartphone is particularly dangerous because it forces a driver to take his or her eyes off the road. For a person who is driving 55 mph, looking away for just five seconds is long enough for him or her to travel the length of an entire football field. Even if it is just for five seconds, the chances of causing a wreck are still high.
Are smartphones really a problem?
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that on a daily basis, around 660,000 drivers use their cellphones while driving. The NHTSA also attributes 3,477 deaths in 2015 to distracted driving, as well as 391,000 injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also says that distracted driving accidents cause nine deaths and 1,000 injuries every day.
Teenagers are more likely to be involved in fatal distracted driving accidents than any other group of drivers. Additionally, drivers from the ages of 17 to 30 are involved in approximately 40% of these types of accidents. Although the reasons behind this generational gap are not necessarily clear, it could be because different age groups tend to gravitate toward different forms of technology.
Drivers overestimate their abilities
You would probably have a hard time finding anyone who truly thinks that texting while driving is safe. Despite this, you could more easily find someone who admits to having done just that. According to the 2018 annual Traffic Safety Culture Index from AAA, 90% of drivers think they are capable of engaging in dangerous behaviors.
Take for example AAA's data that shows 35% of drivers admit to texting while driving even though the majority of them admit it is wrong to do so. This difference of opinion regarding personal behavior versus that of drivers also extends to other areas of driving. That same report showed that 85% of drivers believe it is wrong to drive 10 mph above the posted speed limit in residential areas, even though 47% admitted to doing so within the month prior to participating in the survey.
Are these figures accurate?
Surveys that involve self-reporting may not accurately depict real-life driving behaviors. Although some drivers may be willing to admit that they text and drive, some are embarrassed or even afraid to admit that they engage in that behavior. Even if only 35% of drivers admitted to AAA that they text and drive, the fatality figures from the CDC indicate that distracted driving is a real and growing threat. Unfortunately, you may already know what can happen after a distracted driving accident.
Since distracted drivers usually do not have their eyes on the road, they do not have the ability to apply their brakes or otherwise try to avoid collisions. This can lead to more severe accidents and injuries, leaving victims in significant amounts of pain, both physically and emotionally. Although this situation may feel hopeless, you have options for improving your future. An experienced Alabama attorney can probably better explain your options for moving forward with a personal injury case, which can help you get the compensation you need.