Thompson Law Group, P.C.

Survey from AAA shows distracted driving still a major danger

Distracted driving is a known problem in Pennsylvania and across the U.S. Because drivers have such easy access to their cellphones, it can be an irresistible temptation to pick it up and use it for a variety of purposes from talking to surfing the web to texting and emailing. While they are undoubtedly aware of its danger, many do it anyway. Legislators and law enforcement do what they can to reduce it. Part of knowing what strategies will be effective and tamping down on the practice is understanding drivers' thinking. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety conducted its annual survey to examine thinking and behaviors and came to interesting results.

Since 2013, the number of drivers who admitted to using their cellphones when driving increased by 30 percent. 88 percent of those surveyed said they felt that the number of distracted drivers was increasing. AAA's survey found that almost 35 percent of drivers said they sent texts or emails while behind the wheel; 49 percent said they had recently spoken on their cellphones when driving. 58 percent stated that their personal safety is in serious danger due to those who talk on their cellphones when driving; 78 percent say that danger is significant.

This coincides with the statistical realities of using a cellphone when driving. Those who are driving and talking on a cellphone are at four times the risk of being in a crash. Those texting are at eight times the risk. In Pennsylvania, the 2016 statistics show that there were more than 16,000 accidents with a distracted driver contributing to the crash. That is 12 percent of all reportable accidents and a rise of 8 percent from the previous year. 61 of those accidents resulted in wrongful death. That is 5 percent of all fatal accidents for that year. The survey indicates that drivers believe distracted driving has risen over the last three years. This survey involved more than 2,600 drivers age 16 and older who had driven in the previous 30 days.

Given the risks with distracted driving, it is no surprise that there are a significant number of accidents because of it. Those who are injured or lose a loved one because of a driver's negligent actions including distracted driving should know their rights to be compensated. A legal case can recover compensation for injuries, medical costs, lost wages and more. A lawyer can investigate a crash to determine if distracted driving played a role and provide advice in moving forward with a claim.

Source:, "AAA: Distracted driving on the rise, topping other risky behaviors," Bill O'Boyle, March 29, 2018

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