Distracted Driving Often Leads to Crashes

By Peter DePaolis

More than 3,000 people died in distraction-related crashes in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Distraction” is a broad term, used to mean any number of activities that might happen in a car: eating a hamburger, chatting with passengers, touching up lipstick, reading a navigation system or even turning up the radio.

One of the most significant distractions in our modern world, however, is texting—the act of sending written messages using a cell phone.

Our grandparents, and probably even our parents, could never have imagined such a problem. To them, the phone was a small appliance attached to a wall in the kitchen, not a tiny, powerful computer designed to be carried around all day in one’s pocket. They might rightfully wonder why anyone would want to do such a strange thing.

Consider the alternative, though: try to convince anyone under 30 to go a day without their cellphone. They would probably wonder the exact same thing.

According to a recent survey, over 70 percent of teens and young people have composed, read or sent a text message while driving. This number, of course, represents only those who answered the survey honestly. The actual number is likely quite higher.

At any given moment, the USDOT estimates over 660,000 people actively use their cell phones while driving. Upwards of 400,000 are injured in texting-while-driving accidents each year, so many that “distracted driving” has joined “drunk driving” in the lexicon of familiar phrases related to car accidents.

Hurt by a Distracted Driver?

It is time our nation starts implementing more stringent laws and regulations to keep distracted driving in check. Remember: a couple of seconds of distraction could change your life forever. If a distracted driver has injured you or has killed a family member in a motor vehicle accident, call our firm to speak with a Virginia car accident lawyer and receive a free consultation.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys

Koonz’s Did You Know: According to the NHTSA, drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.