A Closer Look at Distracted DrivingApril 4, 2019
Distracted driving has been called the new drunk driving, an American epidemic that has impacted millions of lives across the country. Nearly one-quarter of all car accident fatalities are caused by distracted driving. Over 391,000 injuries and 3,477 fatalities were related to distracted driving in 2015. So, why are drivers still picking up the phone behind the wheel?
A study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal took a closer look at who is more likely to drive distracted and why they feel compelled to pick up the phone while driving. The study discovered four profiles of drivers more willing to take on the risk of distracted driving:
- Drivers who are highly uninhibited
- Drivers with negative attitudes about safety
- Frequent mobile phone users
Most drivers in the study were more likely to talk on their phones rather than text. Although talking on the phone while driving is dangerous, texting poses a greater risk of an accident. This is because texting is more physically and cognitively demanding than talking on the phone. Texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident by six times.
Most drivers in the study demonstrated some effort to self-regulate their behaviors behind the wheel by only using the phone when their car is stopped at intersections and red lights. They also reported hesitating to pick up the phone during times of heavy traffic, on winding roads, and when law enforcement was visibly present. Perhaps the most alarming statistic researchers uncovered was that 68 percent of participants said they needed heavy convincing to believe the risks of texting and driving.
Preventing Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is entirely preventable. It only takes three seconds for a driver to turn around to talk to a backseat passenger, look down to adjust the radio, or look in the rearview mirror to apply their make-up, for a crash to occur. Beyond efforts to educate the public about the dangers of distracted driving, there are practical steps drivers can take to help resist the urge to text and drive:
- Set your phone to Do Not Disturb
- Organize your belongings before you drive
- Let your passengers take care of the radio and send your texts so you can focus on driving
- Avoid eating behind the wheel, a major factor in many distracted driving accidents
- Limit the passengers in your car as extra activity increases the risk of distractions
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Fight for Victims of Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted drivers put everyone around them in danger. If you or your loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact a Baltimore car accident lawyer at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton who specializes in car accident claims and has the skills and experience to protect your rights. Call us at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.