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An Overview of Distracted Driving in the United States

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 3,000 people were killed in distraction-related accidents in the United States in 2010. An additional 416,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents. These numbers account for 18% of all car accidents that were reported in the United States in 2010. A study conducted by Monash University revealed that drivers who use hand-held cellphones are four times as likely to cause a car accident as undistracted drivers. Text messaging causes drivers to be 23 times more likely to cause a car accident.

Sending or receiving a text message usually takes slightly less than five seconds. In this amount of time, a car moving 55 miles per hour will travel the length of an entire football field. The U.S. Department of Transportation reported that hands-free devices are not significantly safer than hand-held cellphones. Additionally, a study by Carnegie Mellon demonstrated that talking on the phone behind the wheel reduces the amount of brain activity devoted to driving by 37%. According to the NHTSA, young drivers are distracted behind the wheel more often than older drivers.

Young Drivers & Distracted Driving

The NHTSA reports that drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 reported the highest incidence of car accidents or near-crash experiences in a recent study. Additionally, young drivers tend to send more text messages and emails than other drivers. When ask whether or not they texted or sent emails from behind the wheel, 18% of drivers reported that they did. The NHTSA’s Office of Behavior Safety Research indicated that drivers less than 24 years old were significantly more likely to text behind the wheel than other ages.

Texting While Driving & Drunk Driving

Several studies have demonstrated that distracted driving and driving while intoxicated are comparable. In other words, texting impairs your ability to drive as much as alcohol can. A 2006 study conducted by the University of Utah compared the effects of alcohol and cell phone usage on one’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. During the experiment, men and women were asked to operate a driving simulator while using a cell phone and while intoxicated. The results of the study indicated that drivers who talked on the phone reacted to driver hazards slower than drunk drivers and unimpaired drivers.

Do you need a car accident lawyer in New York City?

At Greenberg & Stein, P.C., we believe that distracted driving is a form of negligence and that distracted drivers should be held responsible for the accidents that they cause. If a distracted driver caused you accident, our team of New York City car accident lawyers can help you recover damages for your medical expenses, doctor’s bills, missed wages, future medical expenses, and noneconomic damages. If you suffered an injury, you probably have questions about the possibility of a car accident claim or lawsuit. Speak with our legal team to schedule a free evaluation of your case so that we can help you understand your options with our firm.