We’ve all heard that distracted driving is dangerous. Yet, with how recent cell phone usage has become, statistics are still lacking when it comes to showing just how deadly this form of distracted driving can be. This can be scary to think about, especially since the U.S. has seen a nearly 14.5 percent increase in traffic fatalities over the last two years. On average, at least 100 people died per day in 2016, which is the highest that figure has been in the last decade. This increase also comes after decades of declining death rates.
So what accounts for the nation-wide increase? It’s hard to tell. The total number of miles traveled by Americans only rose slightly, as did speeding and drunk driving. Yet, these increases don’t seem to account for the large increase in traffic fatalities. There are a number of reasons why some are attributing this increase to cell phone use.
First of all, about 80 percent of Americans now use their cell phones for social media, texting and sending pictures. Also, car accidents involving motorcycles and pedestrians have increased significantly over the last couple of years. In fact, pedestrian deaths have increased by 22 percent in the last two years alone. Some think that drivers who are distracted by their cell phones are more likely to miss these smaller individuals and vehicles.
Despite these figures, though, the NHTSA only attributed cellphone usage to 448 deaths in 2015. This means that, according to their figures, drunk driving is 23 times more fatal than texting and driving, despite the fact that numerous studies have shown that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. The NHTSA even indicated that traffic fatalities related to distracted driving declined in 2016. The numbers just don’t seem to line up with reality.
Regardless of the true state of matters, the fact remains that far too many victims and their families are left with significant damages after distracted driving accidents. In an attempt to recoup compensation for their losses, raise awareness of this ongoing issue, and find closure, these individuals and families an pursue a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.