Motorists who decide to text and drive behind the wheel pose a serious concern for anyone who goes on the road. Looking at a screen and taking hands away from the wheel to send a message is clearly a major distraction that can lead to a car accident, but just how dangerous is it? How often do traffic collisions occur due to someone using their cellphone?
The question is pressing and safety organizations around the country are always looking for the answer. From the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the National Safety Council (NSC), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hours upon hours of research has been done to try to understand the scale of the problem of texting and driving. By most of their estimates, using a cellphone is the cause of about 1-in-4 car accidents, many of which cause serious injury. In 2011, this percentage accounted for more than 1.3 million crashes; in 2014, more than 3,000 people lost their lives due to distracted driving.
A Larger Number Hidden Behind the Statistics
25% of all crashes is already a staggering number when considering that most of those could be prevented if people just put down their cellphones and focused on the road. But the problem is likely much bigger than that statistic. Reporting whether or not a car accident is caused by smartphone use depends almost-entirely on honesty and drivers who are willing to admit they were being negligent and breaking the law at the time of a crash. Since admitting this act would certainly put liability on their shoulders in full, researchers must assume that many, if not most, drivers who cause a car accident due to texting and driving keep their negligence a secret.
To this end, some safety studies have tried to extrapolate the data and estimate that around 40% of car accidents are actually caused by distracted drivers playing with their smartphones. It is entirely possible that even this number is conservative, however, especially when considering a survey that concluded 77% of teenagers and 55% of adults think texting and driving is “easy.”
If you want to get more information about texting and driving car accident statistics, you should visit distraction.gov, and the National Safety Council’s distracted driving research page. If you have been hit by a driver and need legal counsel, you should contact Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC. Our Stuart car accident attorneys may be able to determine if the driver that hit you was using their cellphone or not, which would greatly increase your chances of securing a maximized recovery. Call 866-675-4427 now to request a free case evaluation today.