It’s no secret that Americans are becoming more and more attached to their cell phones. We take them everywhere, check them when we wake in the middle of the night and train ourselves to react immediately to new message alerts. Many drivers cannot even bring themselves to detach from their phones when they get behind the wheel, opting instead to read and respond to texts while simultaneously navigating through traffic.
The growing trends in distracted driving, and particularly in texting while driving, indicate a national epidemic. Unfortunately, concentrating on a mobile device while driving can and does lead to accidents. And, a driver distracted by their cell phone when an accident occurs can be found negligent and held financially responsible for all injuries and property damages that result. Many states, including Indiana, have banned texting while driving, but certain analysts believe that the generally lax penalties make the laws an ineffective deterrent.
The startling statistics that follow serve as a harsh reminder of the danger we put ourselves and all road travelers in when we text and drive.
Accident and injury frequency
At any given time, 800,000 drivers are texting behind the wheel. Motorists who text while driving cause 1.6 million accidents in America every year — nearly 25 percent of the total number of accidents that occur. These accidents result in 330,000 injuries per year and 11 teen deaths per day.
Texting and impairment
Numerous studies have indicated that texting impairs drivers similarly to the way alcohol impairs drivers. In fact, texting while driving is akin to driving after consuming four beers. Consider the following:
- A driver who is texting is six times more likely to crash than an intoxicated driver and 23 times more likely to crash than a sober driver.
- Taking even five seconds to read a text message distracts a driver for enough time to travel the length of an entire football field.
- Texting slows brake reaction speed by 18 percent.
- Teens who text behind the wheel spend about ten percent of their driving time outside the proper driving lane.
Texting from behind the wheel is never safe. An Indiana auto accident lawyer can help you hold negligent drivers responsible for the harm they cause you and your loved ones.