How often does distracted driving contribute to car accidents?

| Sep 1, 2020 | catastrophic injuries

Modern technology is meant to make our lives easier. In many cases, it does just that, especially in the case of our smartphones. These tiny devices are basically a computer in your pocket that can keep you connected to others and give you needed information that makes your day better.

However, smartphones and other mobile devices have their associated risks as well. One clear danger is using them in the car to the point of distraction. Distracted driving causes numerous car accidents every year, many of them right here in Wyoming. If you’ve ever used your phone while driving, even for a split second, here are some facts about distracted driving and how you can help end the practice.

Even one life lost to distracted driving is too many

Most people who own a mobile device and have a driver’s license have probably used that device at least once while driving. Doing so is demonstrably dangerous though, as one study found that more than 2,800 people died in crashes involving distracted driving in 2018. That same year, experts estimate that around 400,000 people sustained an injury due to a distracted driving collision.

One piece of good news is that the number of drivers using a cellphone while driving dropped, from 3.3% in 2016 to 2.9% in 2017. The work isn’t over, however, as a phone is not the only way to distract a driver. Activities like eating, operating the car stereo or even talking to other people in the car are also forms of distracted driving as they take a driver’s attention from the most important task at hand – operating a vehicle.

What you can do to stop distracted driving

It’s not enough just to change your own behavior, you may have to talk to others about their habits while behind the wheel. No matter whether you’re a parent, educator or employer, you have the ability to encourage others around you to pledge to driving without distractions. Even young people can get involved by talking with their friends or enrolling in their school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions organization. Everyone can do their part, even getting involved at the community level by supporting legislation and raising awareness.

Despite the best of intentions, car accidents due to distracted driving will likely still happen. If you or someone you care about suffered harm in a crash with a distracted driver, you may want to pursue a personal injury civil claim. It could be the best way to hold a negligent driver responsible for his or her actions.