Keeping track of distraction-related car accidents in Greensboro, Charlotte and elsewhere has become important in determining the cause of an accident. The government is pushing local and state law enforcement agencies to ask questions and retrieve phone or texting records of the driver following an accident to help determine the relevance of a distracting behavior, specifically cell phones, in causing an accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently released a new traffic safety sheet with relation to driver electronic device use for 2010. Distraction-related accidents continue to rise as more and more drivers become tempted to multi-task with electronic devices while they operate a vehicle.
Charlotte injury lawyers know that as tempting as it may be to text while you drive, research is showing the behavior is proving to be more and more dangerous for drivers.
The National Center for Statistics conducts a survey every year related to how often drivers engage in using electronic devices behind the wheel. After reviewing the data provided in the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), researchers from the NHTSA found that there was a significant increase in accidents from 2009 to 2010 caused by drivers who were texting at the time of the accident. The number of accidents caused by talking on a cell phone remained about the same from 2009 to 2010. Reported data shows that roughly 3,100 people died in distracted driving accidents nationwide in 2010.
According to the NOPUS survey, 5 percent, or 650,000 drivers were witnessed using a cell phone from 2009 to 2010. Female drivers were more likely to use a hand-held cell phone than male drivers. The survey also indicated that drivers between the ages of 16 to 24 years-old are the most apt to engage in electronic device use behind the wheel. It is probably no surprise that the survey found the over-70 age group to be the least likely to text or talk on a cell phone while driving. It isn’t to say that elder drivers never take part in this unsafe behavior but it is less likely to occur as drivers reach senior citizen status.
The NHTSA conducted a phone interview to determine how many drivers talk on cell phones while they drive. Participants gave the following responses to the phone survey:
-The majority of drivers answer calls while driving and almost half these drivers admit to holding a cell phone while operating a vehicle.
-A small percentage (20) said they use hands-free devices to talk while driving.
-Less than 20 percent use the speaker phone feature on their cell phone while driving.
-Only 5 percent of those surveyed responded that they place calls on all trips while they drive compared to 25 percent who admitted they place calls on some driving trips.
-Almost 10 percent of respondents said they will answer a call and pull over to talk rather than drive and another 12 percent said they would answer but tell the caller they will give them a call back later. Very few drivers responded that they pull over first before answering a call.
Interestingly, fewer than 10 percent of drivers surveyed responded that they have a built-in feature in their car that allows them to place or answer calls while they are in their vehicle. As the potential for cell phone bans while driving nationwide becomes more of a possibility, automobile manufacturers will start pushing consumers to buy vehicles with voice activated cell phone devices built right in the vehicle so that they can continue to multi-task and save time while making or answering calls when they drive.
No matter what your age, there is no time like the present to avoid becoming distracted while you drive. Eliminate distractions by giving the roadway all the attention it deserves each time you get behind the wheel.
The experienced team of personal injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. offer free initial consultations to car accident victims in North Carolina including Greensboro, Asheville, Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Call 1-800-887-1965 to discuss your case with an attorney today.
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