American drivers just don’t seem to be getting the message that distracted driving is a life-threatening behavior. Consider: 80 percent of drivers talk on the phone while driving and 30 percent of drivers
admit that they have barely avoided a crash caused by their distracted driving. What is more, many businesses are encouraging distracted driving, despite the associated risks, by insisting that their employees be accessible by phone. We are, in fact, surrounded by countless contradictory messages about distracted driving.
The Travelers Risk Index for 2019 has been released by the Travelers Companies. After surveying more than 2,000 consumers and executives, they identified the following distractions when people are driving:
- Typing a text or email (44 percent)
- Using social media (23 percent)
- Recording videos or taking photos (22 percent)
- Shopping online (15 percent)
Many of these drivers say that it would be very difficult to stop these behaviors:
- Stop reading text messages or emails while driving (13 percent)
- Stop typing text messages or emails while driving (11 percent)
- Stop shopping online while driving (5 percent)
Nineteen percent of the respondents say they would still drive distracted even if it was against the law. Many smartphones are equipped with settings designed to help drivers to remain focused on their driving. Most drivers do not use them, however. The Travelers study found that a mere 12 percent of drivers use the Do Not Disturb setting on their phones while driving. What is more 41 percent of those who do not use the settings actively choose not to turn it on. An additional 35 percent of respondents forget to activate it or find it inconvenient.
Employer expectations of employee connectivity also factor into the situation. “The 2019 index also suggests that many workplaces do not consider the full consequences of distracted driving. According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost of a crash is more than $1 million per death and more than $78,000 per nonfatal disabling injury. However, 12 percent of executives surveyed do not worry about the liability associated with a crash caused by a distracted employee, and most (74 percent) do not consider distracted driving to be of great concern.” [Source: https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2019/03/28/522034.htm]
The data from multiple studies also suggests that we are using our phones for more distracting activities that create greater risk of a crash. These activities tend to fall under the category of “cellphone manipulations,” which they found to be up 57 percent from 2014.
Clearly, our society has become invested in behaviors that constitute distracted driving. We are also using our phones for tasks that require more thought and more time with our eyes on the phone than on the road. Are these activities worth the lives of 14,000 people and the injury of many more? Distracted Driving is a life-threatening behavior.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto or vehicle crash caused by a distracted driver, and through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to recover a financial settlement for your hurts and harms. If you want to discuss your case or hire a relentless advocate for your legal rights, call Altizer Law, P.C., in Roanoke, VA. Bettina Altizer and her team will persevere until they obtain for you the financial settlement you deserve. Call us. We understand that it’s about the money.