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Driving is a huge part of life in the United States. It is such a common thing to do, in fact, that many people do not think much about it, even while they are on the road. Instead, they pay attention to other things, like texting, making a phone call, putting directions into their GPS devices, or even surfing the internet for places to eat. Unfortunately, this lack of attention to the road often results in accidents involving distracted drivers.
These crashes can lead to serious injuries that can require extensive recovery time in the hospital and amass significant medical bills. Having the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian at your side can help ensure you get the compensation you deserve from those responsible for your injuries.
Distracted Driving Accidents
The number of serious or even fatal car accidents caused by distracted drivers is staggering. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 3,154 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted driver in 2013 alone. Another 424,000 people were hurt. Overall, nearly one out of every five accidents that led to an injury involved a driver who was distracted.
Numbers by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) back this up. According to them, people who text while driving – just one of the many ways that you can drive while distracted – have a 23% higher chance of causing a car accident. This increase is just as sharp as someone who has had four beers before getting behind the wheel of their car.
The problem of distracted driving is well known. Four out of five drivers who participated in the annual AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index agreed that driver distraction was a serious problem, and made them feel less safe on the road. A majority of states in the U.S. have passed laws making it illegal to drive while texting. Pennsylvania was one of the most recent states to pass such a law – breaking it can result in a $50 fine.
Nevertheless, people continue to drive while distracted on a regular basis.
Causes of Distracted Driver Accidents
Driver distraction can come in lots of shapes and forms. While texting has gotten much of the attention in recent years, it is only one of the many ways to drive while distracted.
Eating or drinking can also cause enough of a distraction that it can lead to an accident. This is particularly true if you are eating a food that requires a lot of your attention, or that can easily become messy. Even the process of opening pre-packaged foods or drinks can take your eyes off the road for long enough that you can cause an accident.
GPS or other electronic devices in the car can also be enough of a distraction that they can cause an accident. Inputting, changing, or even reading directions on a GPS device or map can take your eyes off the road for long enough that you miss a crucial detail and cause an accident. Even CD or other music players can be enough of a distraction that they cause you to miss something on the road, delaying your reaction for long enough that a crash results.
Finally, studies have shown that you can remain distracted even after putting something away. AAA found that distracting events like texting include a period of “latency.” Even after you have finished sending or reading a text or hanging up the phone for a call, it takes an average of 27 seconds to put your full attention back on the road, again.
Philadelphia Distracted Driver Accident Attorneys
People often forget that driving is an incredibly dangerous activity. Even though we do it on a nearly daily basis, thousands of people get hurt or die every year in traffic-related accidents.
This is why it is so important not to drive while distracted, and why it is crucial to protect your rights and interests if you get hurt in a crash that was caused by someone who was distracted while behind the wheel. By standing up for your rights both in and out of court, the personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve. After all, you were not responsible for your pain, suffering, medical bills, and lost wages. You should not be the one to pay for them. Contact us online or at (800) 529-6162.