According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), one of the leading causes of distracted driving is sending text messages instead of paying attention to the road. The NHTSA estimates that between the years of 2002 and 2011, there was a 25% decrease in the number of fatalities related to driving under the influence, however, during the same period of time, accidents due to distracted driving saw an increase of around 22%, with texting while driving as the main offender.
What Makes Texting While Driving Dangerous?
Distracted driving, according to the NHTSA, can occur any time a cognitive, manual, or visual stimulus draws a driver’s attention away from the task of safely operating a vehicle. The use of a cell phone may distract a driver under all three criteria. When sending a text, one or both hands may be off the wheel and a driver’s eyes and attention are focused on their phone.
A study out of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) found that on average, a driver may take their eyes off the road for 23 seconds in order to locate their phone, choose a recipient, and create a message to send. VTTI also found that a driver’s eyes were off the road for an average of five seconds at a time. Consider that at 50 mph, a driver can cover a distance greater than the length of a football field in five seconds.
Effective Car Accident Attorneys
While elements of distracted driving are risky, others are against the law. For example, new drivers and certain public transport drivers in Louisiana are prohibited from talking on a cell phone while driving, and all drivers are banned from texting while driving. If you were in a car wreck because of a distracted driver or someone sending a text message, call The Womac Law Firm and learn about what legal options may be available to you. Our New Orleans personal injury attorneys will work hard to get you the money you deserve.
Call (504) 470-3935 for a free evaluation and discuss the events surrounding your accident with an attorney.