More than a decade ago, when cellphone use became truly widespread, texting while driving became an increasingly pervasive hazard. States responded by banning this practice or restricting it in significant ways. Yet, years later, distracted driving remains an ever-present threat to road travelers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people lose their lives every single day in the U.S. as a result of auto accidents involving distracted drivers. While texting behind the wheel isn’t the only distracting behavior that motorists engage in, it remains one of the deadliest forms of distracted driving.
The main types of distraction
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that roughly 424,000 people were injured as a result of distracted driving accidents in 2019 alone. One of the reasons why texting behind the wheel is one of the most hazardous forms of distracted driving behavior is that it engages all three of the main kinds of distractions that plague motorists.
Visual distractions compel motorists to take their eyes off of the road. Cognitive distractions cause motorists to divert their mental focus away from the task of driving. Manual distractions involve taking one or both hands off of the wheel while a vehicle is in motion.
The aftermath of distracted driving accidents
Being hurt due to someone else’s distracted driving behavior can be frustrating, to put the situation mildly. Some distractions – like a wild animal darting into the middle of the road – aren’t anyone’s fault. But if you’ve been hurt because someone else actively chose to engage in distractions while driving, it’s important to explore your legal options.
Holding a distracted driver accountable for their negligent or reckless choices can help to ensure that your finances aren’t turned upside down by crash-related costs. Researching your rights and exercising them may even help to prevent someone else from being hurt by the same negligent or reckless driver.