Distracted driving is far too common and occurs for a number of reasons. Texting while driving is just one form. Reading a text or anything on your cell phone while driving is another form. Distracted driving is driving when you don’t have full attention on driving. You could be eating and drinking, talking to other people in your vehicle, looking at your navigation system, or even fiddling with the radio. Any activity that takes your full attention from driving and the road, even for just a few seconds, is a potential distraction and increases the risk of being involved in a car crash.
The Nevada Department of Transportation estimates the increased chances of getting into a car accident by doing any of the following activities while driving:
- Reaching for a moving object – 9 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Driving drowsy – 4 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Looking at an external object – 3.7 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Reading – more likely to be involved in a crash
- Dialing a phone – 2.8 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Applying makeup – 3 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Eating – 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Reaching for a non-moving object – 1.4 times more likely to be involved in a crash
- Talking on a hand-held phone – 1.3 times more likely to be involved in a crash
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. During that 5 seconds, a car going 40 mph can cover 294 feet. That’s nearly twice the length of a football field. So a lot can happen in those 5 seconds.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is dangerous for everyone on the road – for drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving resulted in 2,841 fatalities in 2018. This figure includes 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists. In 2017, 434 people died in crashes reported to have involved cell phone use. According to statistics reported by The Zebra, an estimated 391,000 drivers were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2017 and 2018 saw 4,637 deaths resulting from distracting driving. The Zebra also reports that distracted driving claimed approximately 9 lives per day.
The Nevada Office of Traffic Safety reported that between 2013-2017, 73 fatalities resulted from crashes where distracted driving was confirmed in the crash report. However, they estimate the actual number of fatal crashes involving distracted driving is much higher, as confirming whether distracted driving occurred is difficult.
The experienced Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at D.R. Patti & Associates know what it takes to prove distracted driving. If you or a loved have been injured by a distracted driver, call and speak to a Las Vegas car accident attorney at D.R. Patti & Associates at 702-331-3391 for a free consultation and see how we can help you.