Auto accidents with injuries and fatalities continue to be a problem in New Jersey and across the United States. This is true even with advanced safety features and technological advancements. One ongoing worry is distracted driving. With the fatality statistics having gotten worse in recent years, researchers are assessing collisions and trying to formulate strategies to enhance safety. This is a notable and positive development. However, those who were hurt or lost a loved one must remember to think about the future and know their options.
Report focuses on distracted driving and how to prevent it
A recently released report from the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and General Motors (GM) details distracted driving statistics and provides recommendations with how to address it to make the roads safer. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that distracted driving is believed to have been a factor in around 29,000 deaths between 2012 and 2020.
In 2020 alone, more than 3,140 deaths and 13% of injuries in auto accidents involved distraction. Worse, drivers admit they are distracted behind the wheel. A study from AAA showed that more than half of the participants confessed to driving distracted. For ages 25 to 34, that number rose to 59%. This goes beyond cellphone use and extends to eating, drinking and using the radio.
Researchers gave suggestions for safety including changing road design, greater vigilance from law enforcement and teaching people about how risky it is to be distracted behind the wheel. Because so many young people drive while distracted, changing driver’s license designations with Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programs being put into action was another idea that could be effective. Drivers can take steps to avoid accidents by simply putting the cellphone out of reach, putting it in “do not disturb” mode and pulling over when there is a call or text.
Distraction is still a problem that causes many accidents
It is natural for drivers to be tempted by the litany of ways they can stay plugged in. Part of that is constantly checking a device. Doing so when behind the wheel places themselves, their passengers and others on the road in jeopardy of an auto accident. This research study highlights the problem.
When there is an accident, the problem of distraction has become so commonplace that it can automatically be assumed that it might have been the catalyst. This can be a key point when deciding what steps to take in the aftermath. To recover for medical costs, property damage, lost time on the job, financial problems and more, it is important to gather evidence and know how to proceed. Professional advice can be essential.