Car accidents that involve distracted drivers injure more than 1,100 people and kill more than nine people every day. Distracted driving involves drivers doing other activities behind the wheel that take their eyes and minds off the road and their hands off of the steering wheel. While some Connecticut drivers might only consider using cellphones a distraction, other activities such as eating and using navigation systems are distractions as well.
The 421,000 injuries reported from distracted driving crashes in 2012 increased 9 percent from 3,360 in 2011, while the 3,328 deaths in 2012 declined from 3,360 in 2011. About 17 percent of 2011 traffic collisions involved distracted drivers.
A 2011 distracted driving study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 69 percent of drivers between 18 and 64 had talked on their mobile phones while driving in the 30 days prior to the study. Additionally, 31 percent of motorists in the same age range reported reading or sending texts or emails while driving during the same period. Among European drivers, the percentage of talking while driving was between 21 and 59 percent, while texting and emailing while driving was between 15 and 31 percent.
It appears from data that texting while driving is especially dangerous compared to other activities because it takes the driver's attention away from the road more often and for extended periods of time. Drivers under 20 are also involved in the highest percentage of fatal distracted driving car accidents. In Connecticut and many other states, drivers are banned from using hand-held devices and texting while driving. Drivers who cause crashes that injure or kill others because they were using hand-held devices or texting could be deemed negligent, allowing the victims to file lawsuits against them to recover damages. Victims who wish to seek compensation this way might seek the assistance of personal injury attorneys.
Source: CDC, "Distracted Driving", December 17, 2014