Distracted Driving: An Under-Reported Issue

(CNN:  Published 08/02/2016, Wallace, Kelly, Web)

Every day, more than eight people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes reported to involve distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distracted driving includes activities such as talking on a cell phone, texting and eating.  But the number of those killed and injured is probably much higher, said Deborah Hersman, president and chief executive officer for the National Safety Council. “There’s a dearth of good data,” she said. It’s a challenge to prove that crashes were the result of distracted driving, especially when survivors may be reluctant to admit they were using their phone.

“We know that it’s an under-reported issue and it’s a lot like impaired driving in that way where people know it’s not acceptable to do it, and yet a lot of people still do it anyway.”

Based on observations and crash data, the National Safety Council estimates that about one-fourth of all crashes can be attributed to distracted driving connected with use of a phone. “What we are seeing in the observational data is that even though people are not being observed talking as much as they were in the past on handheld phones, they are seeing an increase in texting,” Hersman said.

Looking at your phone to read one text is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field with your eyes off the road, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A single text increases your chances of crashing by at least six times, according to a study by the University of Utah.

The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of automobile drivers and passengers in Berks County and Schuylkill County and serve accidents victims and their families in Reading, PA, Pottsville, PA, and throughout Eastern and Central, Pennsylvania.

From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire

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