Distracted driving dangers are growing

An Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study indicates that distracted driving is growing worse in Illinois and across the country. The research analyzed survey results from 2014 and 2018 to compare distracted driving concerns, especially following the significant public awareness campaigns and law enforcement efforts that have targeted this behavior. However, while the overall rate of distracted driving appeared to remain roughly steady over the four-year period, the types of distractions appeared to be more dangerous in the later study, posing a greater risk of severe car accidents.

For example, drivers were less likely to operate their vehicles while holding a mobile phone for a conversation. However, they were 56 percent more likely to use their cellphones for texting, internet surfing, messaging or other forms of communication. This type of active manipulation of a mobile device is considered to be more dangerous as it will compel drivers to take their eyes from the road and their hands from the wheel. Research indicates that fatal car accidents are 66 percent more likely when a driver is texting or web surfing. There were 800 deaths in 2017 associated with the practice.

While drivers talking on the phone may commit less attention on the road, moving eyes and hands to actively engage with a text conversation may pose a greater risk over a longer period. In addition, researchers found that drivers were also highly likely to be distracted by other causes, including eating or drinking behind the wheel. Researchers warned that all of these behaviors are likely underreported by survey participants.

The consequences of distracted driving may be especially catastrophic for victims injured in motor vehicle accidents. However, a personal injury lawyer can work with a victim injured through no fault of their own seek compensation for their damages.

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