Increase in Texting While Driving Challenges Accident Prevention Efforts

0000000%20text.jpgEven as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that traffic accident fatalities across the country were at their lowest levels since 1949, there was sobering news from the agency. The number of people texting while driving has actually increased nationwide.

Earlier this month, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported a substantial drop in the number of people killed in traffic accidents in 2010. The number of people killed in all types of accidents including drunk driving accidents were down. However, another survey by the agency found a 50% increase in the practice of texting, e-mailing and using other handheld devices while driving nationwide. The results of the study came from the monitoring of stoplights, intersections and other places where researchers observed and surveyed drivers’ texting practices. According to the results, two out of 10 American motorists admit that they have sent text messages while driving. Those numbers get progressively worse as the age of the driver drops.

The results of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey don’t only involve people who were sending or reading text messages while driving, but also include those motorists who were checking directions on their GPS devices, checking e-mails, surfing the Internet on their smart phones, playing games and performing other activities that require the use of a handheld device. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has concluded from the survey that in 2010, just under 1% of drivers were using a handheld device at any given moment in time. That is an increase from 0.6% of drivers in 2009.

Yet another survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more bad news for Indiana personal injury lawyers. According to this survey, 18% of drivers admit to sending texts or e-mailing while at the wheel. That rate of discussions increased to 50% among drivers aged between 21 and 24.

The conclusion from this is that distracted driving continues to be a major factor in endangering motorist safety. Last year, the number of accidents caused by what the agency categorizes as ‘distractions at the wheel’ was about 3,092. Last year also marked the first time that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration used a supposedly more accurate new measure to determine the number of fatalities in distracted driving-related accidents. This is the first time this measure has been used. Indiana personal injury lawyers will be looking forward to comparing last year’s numbers with the distracted driving accident death toll this year in order to determine the increasing influence of distractions behind the wheel.

It is alarming to note that even as we make progress in reducing the incidence of dangerous driving behaviors like driving under the influence of alcohol, the incidence of other destructive practices like texting and using the cell phone while driving have increased around the country.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy represent persons who have been injured due to the negligence of others, across Indiana.