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Distracted driving remains a killer

Statistics from two most recent years show no change in distracted driving deaths

In April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a new report on distracted driving statistics from 2014. The results were not encouraging. In 2014, ten percent of fatal crashes and 18 percent of crashes causing injuries were the result of distracted driving. These percentages are exactly the same as 2013.

NHTSA compiled the following statistics for 2014:

  • 3,179 people were killed as a result of distracted driving
  • Roughly 430,000 people were injured
  • 385 people were killed in crashes were the driver used a cell phone

These numbers are nearly identical to 2013 statistics. In 2013, distracted driving was the cause of death for 3,154 people, while injuring more than 424,000 people. 411 people were killed in crashes involving driver cell phone use. The fact that these statistics are almost unchanged from year to year is disappointing, and shows that people are not fully grasping the danger of distracted driving.

What can be done to prevent distracted driving?

While it is impossible to prevent all distractions on the road, there are steps individuals and lawmakers can take to reduce distractions within a vehicle. With the explosion of mobile phone usage, lawmakers can take steps to make it illegal to use hand-held mobile devices while driving.

Currently, only 13 states ban hand-held cell phone use in a car. Maryland enacted such a law in 2013, making it a primary offense to drive while using a hand-held cell phone. According to the most recent statistics, Maryland showed a notable decline in distracted driving deaths from 2012 to 2013. If more states enacted hand-held cell phone bans while driving, it is likely that distracted driving fatalities would decrease nationally.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you have the right to recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages. An experienced attorney can make all the difference.

Sources: NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, Distracted Driving 2014; NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, Distracted Driving 2013, Maryland Distracted Driving Program Brief

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