How Many Car Accidents are Caused by Texting and Driving?March 28, 2019
In 2016, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents involving drivers who were texting during or just before the crash. Nearly 400,000 people were injured in such accidents. Distracted driving is on a par with drunk driving when it comes to causing automobiles fatalities and injuries.
Those between the ages of 16 and 20, who are de facto inexperienced drivers, are the most likely to cause texting while driving accidents. Maryland law forbids the use of a handheld phone while driving, and that includes sending or reading text messages.
Nationally, 17 percent of all crashes involve distracted driving, and that accounts for 19 percent of all injuries in crashes. The latter number concerns nearly one out of five motor vehicle injuries.
Nine percent of fatal crashes involve distracted drivers, and 16 percent of all crashes causing property damage also involved distracted drivers.
Though texting while driving is among the most common types of distracted driving, it is far from the only one. In addition to texting, many of the following practices cause driver distraction and increase the odds of collisions:
- Eating and drinking
- Loose pets in the vehicle
- Talking on a mobile phone
- Personal grooming
- Changing radio stations
- GPS programming.
Even speaking to other passengers in the vehicle is a potential distraction.
While not every distraction is avoidable – no one expects to travel in a car with another person in complete silence – there are some things people simply should not do when behind the wheel.
For example, pets should always travel in a carrier or use a pet seatbelt to keep them confined. If you must program your GPS, do so before heading out on the road, or pull over and type in the necessary information.
Even if there are no obvious distractions and you are alone in the car, it is easy to start thinking about work or your personal life, rather than focus on the task of driving. Try not to get into any type of deep thought while behind the wheel that takes your attention off the road.
Do Not Disturb Function
Even if you try to minimize distractions when you are driving, things happen. You can reduce some potential distraction by using the do not disturb function on your cellphone.
Most phones have a form of this function, which informs anyone calling or texting that you are currently driving and will get back to them once you are no longer on the road.
Distracted Driver Awareness
As you can often spot a driver under the influence because of the actions of their vehicle, you can also do so with a distracted driver. Just as you might notify the police that an apparently intoxicated person is driving, you can do the same if a distracted driver is continuing to text and drive.
Suspect distracted driving if:
- The vehicle swerves all over the road
- A person stops for too long at a red light or stop light
- A person runs right through a red light or stop light
- They are driving much more slowly or more quickly than the normal traffic flow
- They follow the car in front of them too closely
If a driver breaks suddenly at a normal traffic stop, that is another sign of possible distracted driving.
Be sure to make certain you pull off the road to make the call, and get the driver’s license plate number and a description of the vehicle.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Texting While Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one have been the victim of a texting while driving accident, you need the services of the experienced Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. We will fight for you until we have your complete satisfaction. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.