The dangers of distracted driving, including texting and cell phone use, are well-known in Texas and throughout the United States.
However, with a recent U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study indicating that over two-thirds of surveyed drivers across the United States have used their cell-phone behind the wheel, it's estimated that one in every ten fatalities is caused by distracted drivers.
As any accident lawyer in San Antonio knows, distracted driving is a major public safety concern in Texas that can lead to some of the state's most serious accidents, including rear-end accidents and potentially fatal head-on collisions.
Study compares driving habits of U.S., European drivers
A recent CDC news release compared distracted driving rates in the United States to the habits of drivers across several European countries including Belgium, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.
The survey revealed that 69 percent of U.S. drivers aged 18-64 admitted to talking on their cell phone within the past month across the United States. On the other hand, European countries reported rates that varied from 21 percent (United Kingdom) to 59 percent (Portugal).
In addition, the study revealed that 31 percent of U.S. drivers age 18-64 reported having read or sent text messages or e-mail message while driving. Drivers in Spain reported having done so at a rate of less than half, with 15 percent of drivers admitting to texting while driving within the past month.
Overall, the study found that drivers across the United States are more likely to multitask while behind-the-wheel for a variety of reasons. These tasks include talking and texting, utilizing their vehicle's navigation systems, or eating.
Distracted driving fatalities rising across U.S.
According to the Washington Post, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study also revealed that no matter the form of distracted driving - from texting and talking on a cell phone to eating or drinking - driver inattention is an increasingly common cause of car accidents across the United States.
The CDC currently estimates that nine people - or roughly one out of every ten people killed in a car or truck accident - die every day due to distracted drivers across the United States. In addition, 1,060 people are hurt in crashes where driver distraction is considered a reportable cause by law enforcement officials.
The CDC's distracted driving website also reveals that traffic accidents involving distracted drivers led to 3,360 fatalities in 2012. In addition, an estimated 421,000 injuries were sustained in distracted driving car accidents in 2012, up from 387,000 people injured over the course of 2011.
When compared to European countries that report far less distracted drivers and distracted driver-related fatalities, recent CDC studies indicate that distracted driving is growing public safety concern across the United States. This is especially true in Texas, where little has been done to regulate drivers who choose to talk and text while behind-the-wheel.
However, the state's lack of regulation gives no excuse to drivers to distract themselves from the road ahead. Distracted driving is a choice, with drivers having control of whether or not they're distracted every time they pick up - or put down their phone. What could seem like a seemingly insignificant decision could be a matter of life or death in merely seconds.
If you've been injured in an accident, contact the Herrera Law Firm at 800-455-1054 for a free case evaluation.