Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Distracted Driving Accidents
Distracted driving accidents are far too common these days with distractions from our phones to a screaming child plaguing many drivers. The holidays bring a whole new set of distractions with our minds on our to-do lists and end-of-year worries.
The car accident lawyers at Jinks, Crow & Dickson have more than 40 years of experience and have handled auto accident cases for clients throughout the states of Alabama and Georgia.
Take a look at these frequently asked questions regarding distracted driving accidents.
1. How common are distracted driving accidents?
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 6 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2019 were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. Nine percent of drivers 15 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the fatal crashes.
2. How many accidents are caused by distracted drivers?
According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 9 percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 15 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2019 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. In 2019 there were 3,142 people killed and an estimated additional 424,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
3. What are the dangers of distracted driving?
Distracted driving can be dangerous to the distracted driver, his or her passengers, drivers and passengers in other vehicles, and pedestrians, resulting in severe injuries and death. In 2019 there were 566 nonoccupants (pedestrians, bicyclists and others) killed in distraction-affected crashes. In 2019 there were 3,142 people killed and an estimated additional 424,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
4. Is distracted driving as dangerous as drunk driving?
Technically, there were over three times as many deaths from drunk-driving accidents in 2019 than with distracted drivers, but the statistics don’t tell the entire story. Some drunk drivers were also distracted drivers. And drunk driving accidents are much easier to identify than those involving distracted drivers, where the driver’s distraction cannot be easily measured or verified. So the number of accidents involving distracted driving are likely under-reported.
5. What to do if you see a distracted driver?
Give distracted drivers a wide berth and keep your distance. In extreme cases, such as If they are driving erratically and causing an obvious and immediate danger to themselves or others, you may want to get their license plate number and pull over and call the police or state troopers. Don’t try to engage a distracted driver. That causes you to be distracted and only further distracts them.
6. Is texting and driving illegal in all states?
48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. Of the two states without an all-driver texting ban (Montana and Missouri), Missouri prohibits text messaging for drivers 21 and younger.
7. How can texting and driving be prevented?
Put your phone out of reach, such as in the glove box, back seat or trunk.
Pull over when you need to use the phone to talk or text.
Make a pledge to your family to never text or talk on the phone while driving, then set a good example by honoring your pledge.
As a passenger, speak up if the driver starts texting.
Parents should give clear direction to their teen drivers that texting and driving is not allowed.
8. Does texting and driving affect insurance?
You may see a hike in your insurance rates after a texting ticket depending on your insurer and the state you live in. The average rate increase after a texting ticket is 23%, however it could be as high as 45% or as low as 12%. If you cause an accident as a result of texting and driving, the impact could be much worse.
9. What is your reaction time when texting and driving?
Texting while driving doubles your reaction time. One study showed that it increased from 1-2 seconds to 3-4 seconds.
10. What percentage of car accidents are caused by texting and driving?
In 2019, research showed that 9 percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 15 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.