Although the majority of drivers responding to safety studies indicate they recognize how dangerous it is to drive while they are distracted, motorists continue to use cell phones and other electronic devices behind the wheel. A personal injury lawyer in Fairfield County knows there is a significantly greater risk of a motorist becoming involved in a collision if distraction is involved.
New evidence continues to raise concerns about distracted driving. The National Safety Council has cautioned against underestimating the risks of losing focus behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving is an Unacceptable Risk
Recently, AAA has published multiple studies underscoring the dangers of different types of distractions. One of the studies focused on voice-controlled systems, which it turns out can be just as dangerous as handheld systems. This means motorists who think it is safe to talk on the phone, text or use other electronics as long as they use voice control are actually taking a big risk. Unfortunately, it may actually be more dangerous to use a hands-free device because it takes longer and takes more of your focus away from the road if you have difficulty getting the voice commands to work effectively.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also published a comprehensive report on cell phone use in collaboration with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI). The researchers determined a driver who was answering, dialing, or reaching for a cellular phone had three times the risk of becoming involved in a motor vehicle accident while a driver who was talking on the phone had a 17 percent increase in the chances of an accident happening.
IIHS, however, seemed to under-emphasize some of the tremendous dangers associated with the use of electronic devices. As a result, the National Safety Council responded to the IIHS report and highlighted problems with the way the data was used.
The NSC pointed out the assertion that 12 percent of crashes in 2012 involved driver distraction as a factor was likely incorrect. In many cases, drivers who are involved in collisions do not admit they were on the phone at the time when they become involved in an accident. Further, the information about phone use often does not get included in accident reports made by law enforcement after collisions occur. This means that it is very likely that the IIHS statistics significantly underestimate the true number of crashes involving driver distraction.
IIHS had also pointed out that while cell phone and texting use has been on the rise, there has not been a corresponding increase in the number of fatal traffic crashes. NSC suggests the reason the crash rate has not gone up more is because there has also been a significant increase in safety technologies used in vehicles during the same time period when phone use was becoming more popular. It is not that cell phones and electronics are safe, but simply that cars are safer so more phone accidents could occur at the same time when there are fewer overall deaths.
Drivers need to be aware of the true risks and should make a real commitment to stay focused on the roads and not allow distractions.
A Fairfield County personal injury lawyer at Vishno Law Firm can help after a collision. Call 888-222-1688 today.