Although many states, including Illinois,distracted driving chart 300×224 Texting While Driving Epidemic have made texting while driving illegal, in 2011, 23% of automobile accidents were a result of distraction by cell phone usage. That is 1.3 million automobile collisions.
Driving while texting makes an accident 23% more likely. 39 states and the District of Columbia have made texting while driving illegal. 77% of young adult drivers feel very confident while texting and driving, yet drivers who text spend 10% of their driving time outside of their lane. The National Safety Council estimates that 1.6 million accidents occur each year because of texting and driving. Harvard Center for Risk Analysis estimates that there are 330,000 injuries per year due to texting while driving, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts state that there are 11 teen deaths daily as a result of texting.
Driving while texting is 6 times more likely to cause a collision than driving drunk. And not only is texting while driving widespread, but 1 in 5 adults admit to surfing the web while driving.
When driving and texting, you slow your brake reaction speed by 18% and you will have a 400% increase of driving without looking at the road. Yet, at any given moment, 800,000 drivers across the country are texting. It is a national epidemic.
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health showed that 16,000 drivers were killed because of handset use between 2001 and 2007. Distracted drivers with cell phones kill over 6 people per day.
Our brains can’t handle two tasks in parallel, and texting while driving is similar to trying to play the violin while reciting the Gettysburg Address. Our brains can only handle one complex task at a time, and driving requires quick reaction time and complete attention. If someone is texting while driving, they are putting themselves and others on the roadway at great risk.
A study in Car and Driver compared texting to driving while intoxicated, and the study showed that texting decreased reaction times 600% compared with driving drunk.
Lawmakers have been influenced by these statistics, and laws are being passed in many states, outlawing use of cellphones or texting while driving. However, it is difficult to police texting drivers, and many drivers are under such time constraints that they find it necessary to multi-task, despite the risk to their safety and that of others.
Some suggested solutions to this problem have included blocking cellphone signals inside cars, or enforcing the law with harsher penalties. There have been suggestions to enforce the use of hands-free kits in cars, and some states have passed this type of legislation. Some people are proponents of public awareness campaigns, and automobile manufacturers have introduced self-braking technology that takes over if a driver is distracted and fails to brake if an object is in front of the car.
Despite all of this knowledge and effort, texting while driving still goes on, and is spread widely across the driving population. If you are the victim of an automobile collision that occurred because of a distracted driver who was texting on his or her cell phone, you may have incurred significant injuries that may result in lifelong disability and unemployment. A distracted driver may have killed someone in your family. You should consult a personal injury attorney to assess your case.