A study recently published in a major medical journal has provided some valuable statistics regarding one of the leading causes of car accidents, both here in Texas and across the country. The statistics gathered in this study come from a combination of factors such as a driver's age, inexperience and risky behaviors exhibited behind the wheel. The main focus of the study dealt specifically with distracted drivers. These types of drivers are everywhere, and while they may feel that a quick look at their phone -- or whatever draws their eyes from the road -- isn't a big deal, accidents happen which tend to have very serious consequences.
The definition of distracted driving is simply the act of diverting one's attention away from actions deemed appropriate for safe driving. Whether a person is driving alone or with passengers, there are a number of activities that compete for a driver's attention. Some of these activities include:
- Use of electronic devices
- Interacting with passengers
Cell phone use is one of the biggest areas of concern. According to the study, drivers who use their cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. This number increases for adolescents who have less driving experience. The study also showed that drivers who used cell phones had a delayed reaction to potential hazards and spent less time scanning their surroundings.
Distracted drivers pose a threat to not only themselves and their passengers, but others around them. Accidents that occur due to driver distractions often result in injury or worse. Those who have been injured or lost a loved one due to the negligence of another driver may be entitled to seek legal recourse. Civil claims, such as personal injury or wrongful death claims, may be filed in a Texas court. If successfully litigated, a monetary judgment may be granted to provide compensation for any damages suffered resulting from the incident.
Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, "Distracted Driving and Risk of Road Crashes among Novice and Experienced Drivers", Sheila G. Klauer, Ph.D., Feng Guo, Ph.D., Bruce G. Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H., Marie Claude Ouimet, Ph.D., Suzanne E. Lee, Ph.D., and Thomas A. Dingus, Ph.D., Sept. 8, 2014