We’ve all heard it: Put the phone away and drive. When you hear that familiar notification, you glance over instinctively, and then, just as so many of us have become conditioned to do, we reach for our phone. It's natural to wonder whom the message is from or what it says - but not when you are driving. Unfortunately, too many drivers are the ones reaching for their cell phones.
We all know it's dangerous to use your phone while we're driving, but many drivers do so anyway- at great risk to themselves and others.
Young drivers with minimal experience are at a 3 times higher risk of causing a serious or fatal accident than those drivers over the age of twenty. However, they are not the only ones using their cell phones behind the wheel. A study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 69 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 64 confess to talking on their phones and 31 percent admit to having read or sent at least one text message while driving in the past thirty days.
In spite of the danger to themselves and others, many drivers try to rationalize the risk by saying that reading a text only takes a short amount of time. On average, it takes approximately five seconds to read a text message. In that time, a car traveling at 55 mph will cover the length of a football field.
Distracted drivers who cause accidents could face penalties, lawsuits, and higher insurance premiums due to accident claims, at the very least. The greatest cost could be a life- their own, a passenger, or another motorist.
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed and an additional 424,000 people were injured by distracted drivers.
Other surprising distracted driving facts include:
- Sixteen percent of car accidents are the result of distracted driving
- Car accidents are the number one killer of people in the United States aged 11 to 27- teen drivers crash four times more often than any other age driver
- Studies indicate texting while driving is comparable to driving under the influence of four beers and texting drivers are 23 times more likely to crash
Recondition Your Brain
Depending on your level of will power, there are several ways you can keep yourself from checking your phone while behind the wheel:
- For those with no will power- remove your phone entirely from reach or sight- put it in the trunk if you have to.
- For those with some restraint- use your phone settings to turn off notifications while in the car, or place it in the glove box.
- For the strong-minded- recondition yourself to stop before instinctively looking at the phone while driving. Begin consciously making the effort and eventually it will become a new, good habit.
Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident with a distracted driver, it is important to contact one of our attorneys immediately.