Distracted driving: by the numbers

Just one injury. Just one death. Everyone should understand that even a single distracted driving injury or one distracted driving fatality is one too many. Yet we still see distracted drivers every day all across Joplin and Jasper County.

Distracted driving isn’t by any means a problem restricted to our city, county or state. It’s a problem growing worse across the nation, causing an increasing number of injuries and fatalities in preventableauto accidents.

Let’s take a look at distracted driving by the numbers. Before we do, let’s first define what constitutes distracted driving. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, it’s “any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.”

That includes texting, of course, but also any other use of a cellphone. Other electronics can also be a factor in distracted driving, including GPS systems, radios, MP3s and videos. It also includes low-tech activities such as eating, drinking, talking and grooming.

Now let’s take a look at those numbers. As of the end of 2012, Americans were sending more than 171 billion text messages per month. That amounts to more than 500 text messages per month for every single American (including every baby and every senior citizen who has never sent even one).

The form of communication is virtually nonstop for some people – including while they are driving. Who does the most texting? Young people. Twenty-seven percent of all distracted drivers in fatal crashes are in their 20s.

The age group with the largest proportion of distracted drivers: those under the age of 20.

Research shows that at any given daylight moment, about 660,000 people are using a phone or other electronic device while they are behind the wheel of an automobile.

If you or a loved one has been harmed by a distracted driver, speak to an experienced attorney about legal options available to pursue full compensation.



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