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Connecticut Personal Injury Blog

Distracted Driving – A Public Health Epidemic

Distracted driving is a growing threat to the safety and well being of American drivers.  With the prevalence of new technology, personal communication, entertainment devices and other innovations, the potential for behind the wheel distraction is high.  In fact, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the National Highway Transportation Administration actually refer to distracted driving as an epidemic.  Distracted driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle accident. Smart Phone Distracted driving is defined as "driving while doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving."  Everyday, in the U.S., at least 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. The three main types of distracted driving are:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.
Any activity that can divert a person's attention away from driving is considered distracted driving, including: eating and drinking, talking to passengers, personal grooming, tuning a radio or even reading navigation systems.  Any of these distracted behaviors also inherently endangers driver, passenger and bystander safety.  Although drivers have always had distractions available to them while driving, text messaging is considered the most alarming distraction because it requires simultaneous visual, manual and cognitive attention.  As a result, Connecticut and many other states have recently passed legislation that directly bans handheld devices and texting while driving. Under Connecticut law:
  • No person shall text message or use a hand-held phone while driving;
  • Drivers under 18 are subject to a complete ban on cell phone and mobile electronic device use;
  • Drivers are prohibited from engaging in any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the vehicle's safe operation;
  • School bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving except in emergencies.
An Overview of Distracted Driving in the United States:
  • in 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver;
  • in 2012, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver;
  • in 2011, "distraction" was reported as a factor in nearly one in five crashes or 17% of crashes  in which someone was injured.
Affecting so many people across the nation, these statistics are difficult to overlook because of the high rate of injures and fatalities that result from distracted driving accidents.  Such accidents involve crashes with pedestrians and bicycles or multi-vehicle accidents that can include trucks and motorcycles.  In any case, these accidents are usually caused by driver negligence and could have been easily prevented. Should I contact an attorney? CT-Injury Law Center attorneys know how to develop a case against a negligent driver for distracted drivingIf you suspect that your accident and injuries were caused by a distracted driver, CT-Injury Law Center can quickly establish a close-working relationship with you in order to collect the facts, preserve the evidence and undertake the necessary legal procedures.  For example, the mobile device in question contains critical information, including: where the driver was, what he/she was doing and when he/she did it.  This is in addition to the 911 calls that are made just after the accident. By filing a personal injury claim with the help of an understanding and experienced Hartford personal injury attorney, you can receive compensation for the physical, emotional and financial damages you or a loved one suffered as  result of an accident caused by a distracted driver. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact us online or call us toll-free at 866-217-8995 for a free consultation.  

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