In 2014, 32-year-old Courtney Ann Sanford of Clemmons, North Carolina died in a car accident – a victim of distracted driving. It is tragic any time a young person dies in an accident of this nature, but the story of Courtney Ann Sanford, who was using her cell phone at the time of her death, carries with it an added message.
At 8:33am on the morning of Ms. Sanford’s death, she used her mobile phone to use Facebook. At 8:34am, she lost control of her vehicle, and crashed. In the blink of an eye, a “harmless” Facebook post turned into a deadly distraction, a testament to the danger of attempting to multi-task while piloting a vehicle.
This story should serve as an important reminder to all drivers: never use your phone while behind the wheel of a car. Even dashing off a quick text could prove deadly. Driving is an everyday activity for most, and so we likewise treat it as an unimportant activity. However, cars are multi-ton, complexly-constructed machines filled with flammable liquid and capable of achieving high speeds. Treating them without seriousness, or without at least a degree of respect, can prove to be a foolish mistake.
Remember, when driving: do your due diligence. Drive carefully and at reasonable speeds. Focus on the road before you; do not drive distracted. Doing so can help save your life and the lives of others.
The Leading Cause of Crashes: Distracted Driving
So, we know distracted driving is dangerous. But what constitutes distracted driving, exactly? Anything that requires visual, manual or cognitive attention, and isn’t driving, could be interpreted as distracted driving. What follows is a partial list of activities that are considered distracting:
- Talking on a cell phone without a hands-free device. (But remember: hands-free doesn’t always mean risk-free.)
- Texting, playing games, or using a cell phone / smart phone for any other reason.
- Searching for an item on the passenger / back seat or floor of the car.
- Consulting maps / adjusting navigation system.
- Drinking or eating.
- Turning around to talk to another passenger or other passengers.
Of course, there will never be a time where every driver of ever vehicle pays 100% attention to the road before them without any outside interference or distraction. There will always be radio stations in need of changing, children in need of assistance, and other careless drivers to compete with. However, it is possible to limit these seemingly constant diversions. At Kaplan Lawyers PC, we can’t stress enough the importance of concentration. Whenever possible, pull over before taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off the task at hand.
Distracted Driving Statistics
Distracted driving is becoming a certifiable epidemic. Some estimates say that drivers are considered distracted, in some form, up to 70% of the time they are driving. At any given time during the day, over a half million American drivers are figured to be driving while distracted. Here are some more statistics concerning distracted driving:
- Mobile device use amongst drivers skyrocketed in 2010- mirroring the burst in popularity of smart phones in the general public. Cell phone use while driving has maintained its popularity despite the well-documented parallel drawn between this behavior and collisions.
- Thought experiment: if you are driving 55mph, and you take your eyes off the road for a mere 5 seconds to send or receive a text, how much do you really miss? Well, in that time, your car has traveled approximately 100 yards. Would you attempt to navigate the length of a football field (a football field populated with other cars and other driving-related obstacles, mind you) without the use of sight? We didn’t think so.
- Recent data (from 2013) shows that upwards of 3,000 people that year were killed in crashes that involved at least one distracted driver. 424,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2013.
- These figures represent a decrease in fatalities but an increase in overall injuries from preceding years. In 2012, only 421,000 people were injured in distracted driver-related accidents.
- New drivers are, by a significant margin, the “most distracted” demographic. A full 10 percent of drivers under 20-years-old who died in fatal automobile accidents were reportedly distracted at the time of their respective accidents.
Kaplan Lawyers PC
Accidents happen. New York State experiences roughly 300,000 car crashes per year. While the severity of these accidents varies, the necessity of retaining expert legal counsel in the aftermath of a collision remains the same. If you’ve been involved in a crash of any kind, you can dramatically increase the likelihood of a favorable legal outcome by enlisting the services of Kaplan Lawyers PC. Our professional and compassionate legal team can help analyze the details of your case and will fight determinedly to win for you in court. If you’ve got any questions or concerns, our consultations are a free and easy way to get started.
So contact us today.