Drivers everywhere have a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings. The advancement of technology has made it all too alluring for some drivers to use their phones while driving, in spite of the passing of laws to deter this habit.
The use of technology while operating a vehicle is a dangerous distraction that could lead to an accident or worse. If you are ever in a collision with a seemingly distracted driver, you may want to ask yourself: Was the driver using a smartphone?
The big picture
Traffic fatalities are on the rise according to federal data, which shows that every day in 2016, more than 100 people died in or near motor vehicles. Regulators could not figure out the reason for the uptick in traffic fatalities until they began looking at the increase in smartphone use among drivers. For example, the number of smartphone owners grew from 75 percent to 81 percent between 2014 and 2016.
Texting and more
The way people use their smartphones has undergone a major change in that they do not depend on these devices for calling nearly as much as they once did. Today, texting is more common. So is checking Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or email — often from behind the wheel of a vehicle. These activities require much more attention than holding a phone to the ear and talking. Texting, for example, takes the driver’s focus away from the road for several precious seconds, which is plenty of time for a horrific crash to occur.
The possibility of low numbers
According to data compiled by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, 448 traffic fatalities nationwide attribute the cause to smartphone use in 2015. However, that figure may be quite low. The data indicated, for example, that those involved in fatal accidents were simply driving down the road with no cross traffic to worry about, no blowouts and no inclement weather issues. Many of those who died were motorcycle riders, cyclists or pedestrians; in other words, objects smaller than another vehicle. Researchers believe the number of deaths linked to motorist smartphone use is at least three times greater than the federal data shows.
Investigating the matter
The Louisiana ban on texting and driving would likely come into play if a distracted driver hit you. If smartphone use was to blame for your injuries, a thorough investigation may turn up the evidence needed for you to prevail and receive the financial compensation you deserve.