Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) National Center for Statistics and Analysis (NCSA) compiles reports about traffic safety, including a 2017 motor-vehicle fatality report. In this report, we learn that 37,133 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes: 3,166 of these fatalities (8.5% of all motor vehicle fatalities) were caused by distracted driving. Unfortunately, many are unaware of how distracted driving is impacting our communities, but Suzuki Law Offices is here to help you get the facts.
Distracted Driving: A United States Problem
As previously stated, 3,166 people were killed by distracted driving in 2017; in 2015, 391,000 Americans were injured in distracted driving-related accidents. Distracted driving is a cause of concern on a national level, but these numbers only represent a fraction of accidents caused by distracted driving. Research suggests that this epidemic accounts for approximately 25% of all motor vehicle crash fatalities. If this is true, it means distracted driving could have been a factor in 9,283 traffic deaths in 2017.
Distracted Driving: An Arizona Problem
In 2017, 1,000 people were killed in Arizona motor vehicle accidents. If we look at the number with the lens of the research-based approximation mentioned above, about 250 of these fatalities were caused, in part, by distracted driving. There were 127,064 Arizona accidents in 2017, which means an approximated 31,766 Arizona accidents were caused by distracted driving. Using this same formula for Arizona motor vehicle-related injuries, we find that an estimated 9,455 Arizona injuries were caused by distracted driving.
Distracted Driving: A Phoenix Problem
In 2017, 43,986 accidents (over 45% of all accidents in Arizona) occurred in Phoenix. When using the 25% distracted driving measurement, we can estimate that 10,996 Phoenix accidents were caused by distracted driving. 19,155 motor vehicle accident-related injuries (nearly 50% of all motor vehicle accident-related injuries) occurred in Phoenix. When using the 25% distracted driving measurement, we can estimate that 4,788 of these injuries were caused by distracted driving. In 2017, 243 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in Phoenix (over 50% of all traffic fatalities in Arizona.) When using the 25% distracted driving measurement, we can estimate that 60 of these fatalities were caused by distracted driving.
Put it this way, an average of 13 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving in Phoenix, an average of 26 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving in Arizona, and an average of 1,071 people were injured in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving in the United States, on any given day of the year in 2017!
Heed the Warning
What people don’t realize is how dangerous distracted driving truly is, and others are paying for it with their lives. While a good number of Americans admit that distracted driving impacts their driving capabilities, many continue to adhere to poor practices.
For example, a AAA poll showed that 94% of teen drivers acknowledged the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to texting and driving despite the danger. In another survey conducted with drivers of all ages, 42% of drivers admitted to reading texts or emails while driving.
What does this mean? That people know the dangers and don’t want to heed the warnings.
Hands-Free Devices Aren’t Blameless
Although using hands-free devices is legal in all 50 states, research shows that these devices play a pivotal role in distracted driving. When someone is talking on the phone while driving, his or her ability to process moving images (e.g., cars, pedestrians, lights changing colors,) decreased by 33%. Additionally, drivers looking out the windshield can miss seeing up to 50% of what’s around them when talking on a cell phone. In fact, new research shows that using voice-to-text is more distracting than typing texts by hand!
Therefore, don’t be tricked into thinking that hands-free devices are entirely safe to use while behind the wheel. They can still cause significant distractions and may result in traffic accident injuries.
Fighting Against Distracted Driving
We offer these statistics to warn you and your loved ones of the pervasiveness and deadliness of distracted driving in our everyday lives. Unfortunately, the research and statistics found in this blog will not stop people from driving while distracted. If you or a loved one are injured in an accident due to the negligence of another driver, you have the right to pursue just compensation for your wounds.Have you been the victim of distracted driving? Call (602) 842-6762 now for a free consultation for your case!