When a driver’s attention is on anything other than the task at hand, it significantly elevates the risk of an accident. Distraction can happen for many reasons, but one of the most common is due to the use of cell phones. In Oklahoma and across the country, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of serious motor vehicle accidents, and leaders share concerns that it is becoming an epidemic.
Highway fatalities are on the rise in most states, and one of the main factors behind this trend is distraction. Reports indicate that 46,000 roadway fatalities occurred in 2022, an increase from the previous years. Experts also say that the number of accidents caused by distraction is actually much higher than the data suggests. Data collection methods are not always effective, and they do not always reflect the true numbers.
Distraction is a preventable behavior
Distraction is a common problem, but it is also completely preventable. Drivers are responsible for the decisions they make behind the wheel, especially those that cause harm to others. One of the most important steps in fighting this growing epidemic is to provide an accurate look into how widespread the problem actually is. The National Distracted Driving Coalition is working diligently to fix the data issues so that there can be an accurate understanding of the impact of phone use and other types of distractions.
Formed in 2021, the coalition is working to convince cell phone manufacturers, software companies, car manufacturers and lawmakers that distraction is a public health crisis. This is why accurate data is so critical to their efforts. For example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration claims that less than 10% of accidents in 2020 that caused injuries were related to distraction. However, the National Distracted Driving Coalition believes the number of distracted-related crashes is actually closer to 25% to 30%.
What happens after a distracted driving accident?
A second of distraction has the potential to leave you with repercussions that could affect the rest of your life. If another driver caused your accident due to his or her choice to engage in reckless and negligent behavior behind the wheel, you have legal options available to you. You may have grounds to pursue compensation through a civil claim. The civil justice system can be complex, and you may benefit from seeking guidance regarding how you can fight for financial recovery.