Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways. We all know how common distracted driving has become. It seems like everyone is doing it, whether they are texting, talking on the phone or playing with the radio. But what many people do not realize is just how dangerous it can be. Here are five alarming facts about distracted driving that everyone should know.
1. Looking at Your Phone for 5 Seconds While Going 55 MPH is Equivalent to Driving the Length of a Football Field Blindfolded.
While distracted driving can involve any form of distraction, texting and driving is among the most dangerous. That's because texting and driving takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off of driving.
2. 8 Percent of Fatal Crashes in 2020 Involved Distracted Drivers.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the 38,824 car accident fatalities in 2020, distracted driving caused 3,142. This is a slight increase from 2019 when 3,119 were killed due to distracted driving.
3. 1 in 5 Killed in Distracted Driving Crashes Are Not Occupants of a Vehicle.
Distracted driving does not just affect other motorists. It puts pedestrians or other nonoccupants at risk as well. Below is a breakdown of nonoccupant fatalities in 2020. Out of 587 deaths:
- Pedestrian - 480 fatalities.
- Bicyclist - 83 fatalities.
- Other - 24 fatalities.
4. There are 3 Types of Distractions.
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the task of driving. There are three types of distraction:
- Visual Distractions - Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road.
- Manual Distractions - Anything that takes a driver’s hands off the wheel.
- Cognitive Distractions - Anything that takes a driver’s mind off the task of safe driving.
5. Drivers Ages 15-20 Are Most At-Risk of Driving While Distracted.
Seven percent of drivers aged 15-20 who were involved in fatal accidents were reported driving while distracted. Further data showed that young drivers who engage in distracted driving are also more likely to:
- Not wear a seat belt.
- Drive after consuming alcohol.
- Ride with a driver who consumed alcohol.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Distracted Driving?
If you are driving, putting your phone away is the best way to avoid being distracted. Do not try to do other things while driving, like eating or putting on makeup. And if you are a passenger, speak up if you see the driver getting distracted. Here are some more specific tips to avoid distracted driving:
- Program your route before you start driving.
- If you need to make a call, use hands-free technology or pull over to a safe spot.
- Avoid engaging with passengers who are being disruptive.
- If you are feeling drowsy, stop driving and rest.
Modified Comparative Negligence
It should be noted that, in Nevada, the doctrine of comparative negligence is used to apportion damages in personal injury cases. This means that if you are found to be partially at fault for an accident, your damages will be reduced by an amount equal to your percentage of fault. For example, if you are awarded $100,000 in damages but are determined to be 20 percent at fault because you were found to be texting and driving at the time of your accident, your damage award will be reduced by $20,000.
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At Viloria, Oliphant, Oster & Aman L.L.P., we understand the devastation that distracted driving accidents can cause. We have represented many injured victims and their families and are here to help you through this difficult time. We will investigate the accident to determine who is responsible and fight to get you the compensation you deserve.