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PERSONAL INJURY: DISTRACTED DRIVERS ARE A COMMON CAUSE OF COLLISIONS

By Heidi Culbertson

June 24, 2019   Colorado Blog, Colorado Personal Injury

PERSONAL INJURY: DISTRACTED DRIVERS ARE A COMMON CAUSE OF COLLISIONS

 While car crashes can be the result of inclement weather and/or difficult road conditions, recent studies indicate that human error accounts for approximately 90% of the auto accidents that occur in the U.S. Excessive speed, and intoxicated drivers are among the most common reasons for collisions, but according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an alarming number of traffic accidents are now being linked to distracted drivers. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a car crash, call Burg Simpson for a free consultation today at 303 792 5595. Let our Colorado personal injury lawyers help you obtain the compensation you deserve.

WHAT IS DISTRACTED DRIVING

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as “a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their focus from the act of driving task and focus on some other activity.”

Anything that shifts the driver’s attention from the road can be a distraction.  Examples of distracted driving include texting, talking on the phone, eating, using your car’s navigation system, and interacting with others in the vehicle.

 TYPES OF DISTRACTION

 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

There are three main types of distraction:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
  • Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving.

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because the process of texting combines visual, manual, and cognitive distraction. When you create or view a text message, you are no longer focusing on the road, but you have diverted your attention to your cell phone. Even though the activity only took a few seconds, driving at 55 miles per hour is long enough to cover the length a football field, and long enough to put you and others into a dangerous situation on the road.

STATISTICS REGARDING DISTRACTED DRIVERS

NHTSA STATS

Statistics released by the NHTSA regarding incidents involving distracted drivers indicate that in 2017:

  • Nine percent of fatal crashes involved a distracted driver
  • In 2017, 3,166 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
  • Six percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes.
  • Eight percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal crashes.
  • 599 pedestrians, bicyclists, and others were killed in distraction-affected crashes.

CDOT STATS

In April of 2019, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) reported that distracted drivers are involved in an average of 43 crashes per day in Colorado, and account for nearly 13 percent of all crashes on Colorado roads.

“Driving is a significant responsibility and demands our full concentration,” said CDOT Director Shoshana Lew. “When you fail to pay attention behind the wheel, you put yourself and other travelers at serious risk.

Based on statistics from CDOT, there were 53 fatalities and 6,269 injuries attributed to the 15,673 crashes involving distracted drivers in Colorado in 2018. CDOT has estimated that there are an average of 2,380 intersection-related crashes and more than 9,000 rear-end crashes every year associated with distracted driving.

BE A RESPONSIBLE DRIVER

State and federal statistics clearly indicate that individual drivers must take responsibility for their safety and the safety of others by not attempting to multitask while driving. Focusing on the road, watching out for other drivers, and driving safely and defensively, is the responsibility of every driver.

AVOID DISTRACTIONS

Choose to be a safe driver by:

  1. Being dressed and ready to go before you get in your vehicle.
  2. Taking a few minutes to adjust your seat, fasten your seatbelt, modify the heat or AC, monitor your GPS, tune the radio, and align your mirrors before you start your car.
  3. Putting your cell phone away.
  4. Pulling off the road if there is an emergency and you need to use your phone.
  5. Making sure that you have securely loaded all your belongings, placed small children in their car seats, and secured your pets into the vehicle before you turn on the ignition.
  6. Not eating in your car. Food spills are distracting.
  7. Limiting the number of passengers in your car.
  8. Pulling over and calling the police If you see an impaired driver.
  9. Choosing to protect yourself and others by driving safely and focusing on the road.

CALL BURG SIMPSON NOW

If you have been in a car crash and need to speak with a Colorado personal injury attorney, call us for a free consultation today at 303 792-5995, and allow one of our experienced personal injury lawyers to answer all of your questions. If you were injured in an accident, our personal injury attorneys are here to help you. All you have to do is fill out a FREE Case Evaluation form or call us today at 303 792 5595.

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