Texting, talking on a cell phone or doing anything that diverts a driver's attention from the road is distracted driving. A driver who is involved in texting, eating or grooming can be a potential danger to other drivers on Arkansas roadways. The most dangerous of all driver distractions is texting, since it requires so much of a driver's attention. According to a recent report, a common text message takes five seconds. During those five seconds of texting, a driver going 55 mph can cover about 100 yards, or the distance of a football field. During those five seconds, a driver who is preoccupied with a cell phone is virtually driving blindly.
In 2012, there were just over 3,000 fatalities involved in car accidents caused by a driver who was distracted while 420,000 people suffered injuries in distraction-related accidents. Of those deadly car accidents, 27 percent involved drivers who were in their 20s and 10 percent of every driver below 20 years old were reportedly distracted when the accident occurred. Moreover, the report noted that 20 percent of teen drivers confessed to having performed in-depth texting while they drove.
Also startling is the fact that about 660,000 drivers at any given time throughout the U.S. are engaged with a mobile device while operating a vehicle. Such distractions increase a driver's chances of wrecking by as much as three times. The report further noted that hands-free cell phones do not decrease driver distraction-related dangers.
Distracted driving is a serious problem on U.S. roadways today. A driver who sends or reads a text message can be the cause of someone being seriously injured or killed in a crash. In the event that a family member loses a loved one or a person suffers catastrophic injuries due to a distracted driver's actions, a lawyer who handles personal injury claims may be able to assist plaintiffs in pursuing their accident-related losses through a civil court action.
Source: Distraction.gov, "What is Distracted Driving?", December 14, 2014