It's nearly impossible to drive through any part of Staten Island without seeing someone on a cellphone, putting on makeup or even watching a movie while driving. Distracted driving continues to rise and pose a real and catastrophic threat to everyone on the roadways. Even pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks aren't safe from drivers who are busier doing anything else other than driving.
Many people fail to see the danger in "quickly" answering or reading a text, dialing their phones or glancing at their GPS devices. Even a few seconds of a driver's attention taken off the roadway can result in a horrific accident.
The problem: By the numbers
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported last year that in 2015, 35,092 people lost their lives in traffic accidents across the country. That number represents a 7.2 percent rise from the previous year. In addition, approximately 10 percent (3,477 people) died in crashes at least partially attributed to distracted driving. That number rose from 3,197 in 2015, which is an 8.8 percent increase.
Last year, Everquote (an auto insurance company) conducted a survey involving approximately 2,300 drivers. It then took data from its Everdrive app and combined it with the survey responses. The data indicates that 96 percent of drivers believe they drive safely. At the same time, 56 percent of those responders admitted to using their cellphones while behind the wheel.
The hard data
Data from the Everdrive app puts that percentage much higher than survey responders would like to admit. Within a 30-day period, 96 percent of drivers used their cellphones while the vehicle was in motion at least one time during each trip. Drivers were on the phone an average of .4 miles for every 11 miles they drove. A lot can happen in that amount of time. The app doesn't distinguish between types of cellphone usage, only that it was used.
The hard truth
As humans living in a technologically advanced society, the number of distractions we face while driving only continues to grow. In addition, a whole generation of drivers grew up being constantly "connected," and now, they are getting their driver's licenses. At some point, it's possible that the dangers of driving distracted could overshadow the dangers of drinking and driving.
This kind of negligence behind the wheel isn't going away anytime soon and when other factors, such as speed, are added to the mix, matters only get worse. This means that more accidents could occur and ultimately be attributed to distracted driving. If you suffered injuries at the hands of a distracted driver, you could face an extensive recovery and significant financial losses.
You could attempt to recover compensation for your losses on your own, but that could be a mistake. For example, accepting a settlement from an insurance company could deny you some of the potential compensation you could otherwise receive. You might benefit from talking to an attorney about your situation before taking the matter any further.