New York City Personal Injury Law Blog
Consumer Reports Calls Distracted Driving a Public Health Epidemic
Posted on Nov 15, 2017 in Car Accidents
A New York City car accident law firm can provide representation in circumstances where you have been hurt in an auto accident. There are many different causes of motor vehicle collisions. One of the most common causes is distracted driving.
Distracted driving has become such a major issue that Forbes indicates that Consumer Reports is now calling deaths due to distracted driving a public health epidemic.
Deaths Due to Distracted Driving are a Public Health Crisis
Consumer Reports conducted a survey of 622 licensed drivers, and 52 percent of the drivers surveyed admitted that they engage in distracted driving despite knowing that it is wrong to do so. Of the drivers who replied to the Consumer Reports survey, 41 percent admitted to typing out and sending a text by hand while they were driving; 37% admitted to playing music on their smart phones; and eight percent admitted that they watched videos on their phone while driving. The director of automotive testing at Consumer Reports believes the number of people who engage in distracted driving is actually higher than the survey results suggest, because not everyone admits to these unsafe behaviors.
The consequences of these unsafe actions are profound. In 2016, a total of 3,450 people died in car accidents attributed to distracted driving. Distracted driving has been a major contributing factor to an increase in auto accidents that occurred in recent years. In 2016 alone, there were 37,461 people killed in motor vehicle accidents, and the former deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicated that “the problem is getting worse not better.”
To show the human cost, Consumer Reports also profiled people who had lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving. Victims included a five-year-old girl who was killed when a 20-year-old hit the back of her family’s car on the highway. The 20-year-old who caused her death admitted to being on a video chat on his smart phone at the time of the fatal accident. Another of the victims was an 18-year-old college freshman who died when a 21-year-old distracted driver hit her car while going 81 miles per hour.
Consumer Reports is hoping to use the information collected in their distracted driving survey, coupled with their unique role in reviewing all of the latest technologies, to provide more education to the public about how they can be safer when using technology in the car. The goal is to educate consumers about the risks, and also about the kinds of systems they should be looking for to help make driving safer.
Ultimately, drivers will have to take responsibility for their actions, which means making a commitment not to engage in behaviors that they admit are very dangerous. If drivers make the choice to drive while distracted despite being aware of the tremendous risks, those motorists should be held accountable for the harm that they cause to others. A New York City car accident law firm can provide help to victims of distracted driving accidents in making a case to get compensation for their losses.