Distracted driving has become quite a hot button issue ever since individuals and their cellphones became inseparable a few years ago.
Although smartphone usage isn't the only type of activity that can distract motorists, it's unlike other types of distractions in that it cognitively, visually and manually engages users.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2016 shows that nearly 3,500 motorists died because of being distracted while driving. Over 390,000 were injured in crashes because of this that same year.
That crash rate remained fairly consistent during the five-year period between 2011 and 2016. Distracted driving crashes involving only property damage occurred just over 680,000 times in 2016.
A National Occupant Protection Use Survey carried out by NHTSA researchers in 2016 revealed that at least six percent of all motorists use cell phones when driving. This represents a decline from the all the high rate of 11 percent that existed in 2007.
The number of motorists using handheld phones or other electronic devices increased by 950 percent from a small .2 percent to over 2 percent in 2016. The number reportedly shows signs of stabilizing though.
Data compiled by the NHTSA suggests that just under 8 percent of all crashes in 2016 were caused by distracted driving caused by cellphone usage. It's unclear what impact other factors such as eating, talking with passengers or other factors may have in comparison to smartphone use.
Public service announcements that have been released in recent years have targeted teen drivers and teaching how texting can wait.
Injuries that people who are involved in distracted driving incidents are often severe. A Mahopac motor vehicle accidents attorney can advise you how to go about holding the negligent party accountable for covering your medical expenses.