January 26, 2018 • Car Accidents
A New York City injury lawyer can provide help to victims hurt in a distracted driving accident. Unfortunately, distracted driving has become a leading cause of fatal collisions as well as a top cause of serious injuries in traffic accidents. Distracted driving has become such a common and serious threat that many individuals, schools, and businesses have launched new initiatives to try to stop the behavior and reduce the risk.
Huffington Post reported recently on the efforts to fight against the dangers of distracted driving to change the statistics so fewer people are hurt or killed each year. As Huffington Post explained, there was an increase in highway fatalities between 2014 and 2015, and another increase between 2015 and 2016. These increases came after years of declining fatality rates in auto accidents, as the rate of death had been previously declining since 2007.
Distracted driving is a major reason for the decline. There are approximately 4,000 people killed each year in the United States thanks to distracted drivers, which means more than 10 people lose their lives in the U.S. every day thanks to drivers who are not paying attention behind the wheel. Another 1,000 people also get hurt daily thanks to distracted driving.
Unfortunately, things are only on track to get worse too. On a percentage basis, the number of people dying due to distracted driving increased faster in 2015 than fatalities caused by intoxicated driving, speeding, and failure to wear a seat belt. The risk among teen drivers is especially great, as more than 50 percent of serious car accidents involving teen drivers are caused by driver distraction.
There are a number of initiatives underway that aim to make distracted driving a taboo behavior, just like drunk driving, to try to reduce the risk of distracted driving collisions. For example, many businesses are running distracted driving presentations for workers, including asking advocates to travel to remote locations so all workers can hear the message. Businesses were also reaching out to schedule distracted driving talks within schools in their communities to help employee’s families stay safe.
Advocacy groups are also launching new public service announcements and working more closely with schools and other invested parties to determine what messages resonate most effectively with different driver groups. Unfortunately, many people drive distracted and when nothing happens, they begin to develop the false impression that their behavior is really not that dangerous. Strong messaging is needed to counteract people’s perceptions that distracted driving isn’t that big of a deal.
Programs are starting early to combat distracted driving behaviors, with advocates even preparing presentations for elementary and middle school students. Many of these presentations include teaching kids how to speak up and how to help their parents change high-risk behaviors.
Hopefully, these efforts will be successful and distracted driving accident rates can decline. If a driver does cause a crash while distracted, a New York City injury lawyer should be consulted for help in holding that motorist accountable.