At our law firm, we fight to recover comprehensive compensation for the victims of motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent and reckless drivers. In this time of mobile phones and similar technologies, distracted driving has risen to dangerous new levels.
Consumer Reports just released a comprehensive article generally about distracted driving and specifically texting behind the wheel. As part of this review, the publication shared results of a national phone survey it conducted to “assess distracted-driver behavior and opinions about texting while driving.”
Of 622 licensed drivers owning smartphones, just over half of them said they had “engage[ed] in distracting activities while driving.” The distractions included:
- Manually typing texts: 41 percent
- Manually playing music on their phones: 37 percent
- Manually accessing a browser or writing, sending or reading email: 20 percent
- Watching videos on their smartphones: 8 percent (“more than twice as many men” did this)
When asked when texting behind the wheel is acceptable, responses were:
- Only if hands-free method available: 61 percent
- Only in an emergency: 34 percent
- Never: 24 percent
Despite the numbers admitting to texting, 88 percent of those surveyed favor state laws that restrict texting while driving. A complete texting-while-driving ban is favored by 83 percent.
Consumer Reports provides some tips for defensively responding to distracted texting drivers while on the road. Be alert for “erratic or inappropriate driving” and keep your distance. In particular:
- Veering movements within a lane
- Inappropriately responding to “traffic cues” like traffic light changes at intersections or frequently braking
- Drivers who are looking downward instead of forward
Anyone who is injured in an accident with a distracted driver or whose loved one has died in such a crash should seek legal advice from an experienced lawyer about potential legal remedies. An attorney can launch an investigation into the nature and extent of the distracting behavior engaged in before the accident.