By now, any reasonable person should know that distracted driving places others in serious danger. While text messaging has earned its fair share of attention – with most states passing texting while driving bans – any activity that takes a motorist’s attention away from the primary task of driving can be negligent and dangerous, including:
- Using a cell-phone or hand-held-device
- Eating and drinking
- Reading, using maps, or using navigation devices
- Watching videos, and using the radio or music players
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) distracted driving injured roughly 421,000 people in 2012 – a 9% increase over the previous year. A recent study from the University of Nebraska Medical Center also found that distracted driving is killing more pedestrians and bicyclists.
Pedestrians and bicyclists are the most vulnerable people on public roadways, which is why traffic accidents involving pedestrians result in high rates of injuries and fatalities. Although new laws have been passed to penalize distracted drivers, it still remains a chronic problem. Analyzing nationwide crash statistics from 2005 to 2010, researchers found the following:
- A nearly 50% increase in the number of pedestrians killed by distracted drivers
- A 30% increase in the number of bicyclists killed by distracted drivers
The study – which was published in Public Health Reports – went on to suggest that distracted driving injury and death rates may be underreported because distracted driving is not always easy to prove. Still, the increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths is alarming, and a significant reason why more needs to be done to protect everyone on our roads and highways, including the most vulnerable.
At Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel, P.C., our Washington, D.C. personal injury lawyers can help victims and families who have suffered losses at the hands of distracted drivers. For more information about your case, contact our firm for a free case evaluation.