Activities that compete for a driver’s attention and their ability to maintain proper focus to the road are ever-increasing. Distracted drivers are the cause of thousands of accidents a year across the country, including numerous right here in South Carolina. These accidents often have tragic outcomes for everyone involved.
According to national statistics, over 400,000 people were injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers in 2012. In total, 3,328 people were killed in these collisions. Every month in the United states, an average of 171 billion text messages are sent. Texting while driving is one of the biggest concerns and a leading cause of distracted driving accidents. Other notable distractions include:
- Cell phone use
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting music devices
- Talking to passengers
Statistics also show that younger drivers are more likely to be involved in fatal distraction-related crashes. In fact, distractions behind the wheel were reportedly responsible for 10 percent of fatal accidents for drivers 20 and younger. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 27 percent of drivers involved in distraction-affected crashes were in the 20s.
Distracted drivers put not only themselves and their passengers at risk for injury or worse, but also have a dramatic impact on the lives of others who happen to fall into their path. Along with the possible criminal charges these drivers may face for causing a crash, they may also face civil claims brought forward by the victims or the victim’s surviving family members. Those in South Carolina who have been injured or lost a loved one in a crash with a distracted driver may be entitled to pursue personal injury or wrongful death claims. Successfully litigated claims may result in a monetary judgment on their behalf, which can provide compensation for any current and future damages suffered as a result of the collision.
Source: distraction.gov, “Distracted Driving“, , Sept. 8, 2014