Articles Posted in Distracted Driving

AZ Cell Phone Distraction CrashAs Arizona personal injury lawyers, we are very concerned about the increase in distracted driving incidents. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood recently called the problem “a national epidemic,” and is increasing federal efforts to stop it and, according to Fox 10, studies show that the problem is particularly prevalent among teenage drivers.

In Arizona, driving while distracted by cell phones, pets, children, and other passengers causes thousands of crashes every year. Arizona does not restrict cell phone use or texting, but that could soon change. Lawmakers are discussing bills that would crack down on anyone using cell phones, especially to text.

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Laws have been swirling around the topic of distracted driving recently. It has alarmingly become one of the top causes of motor vehicle accidents because of cell phones and the like. According to 2009 statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of motor vehicle crashes involving driver distraction amounted 448,000 who were injured or 20%. For overall crashes involving distractions, 959,000 out of 5,505,000 occurred or 17%. It is surprisingly much lower than that recorded in the years 2005–2008, which ranged from an amount of 960,000 – 1,300,000 crashes.

This has recently taken center stage in the state of Arizona. There are bills currently sponsored by Steve Farley, Tucson Democrat, banning driving and texting or any cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18. Farley has been wanting to raise awareness through a doctor from California, who also lost a son as a result of texting.

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A recent study on distracted driving done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) showed that about 18 percent, or 995 persons, were killed in fatal cell phone car accidents. Reported fatalities due to driver distraction have increased by six percent from 2005 to 2009; whereas the portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of fatal crashes increased from seven percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.

Distracted drivers involved in most fatal injuries usually belong to the under-20 age group and even now, distracted driving among teens continues to increase. This is why, despite the decline of fatal Arizona car accidents as results of alcohol-impaired driving, motor-vehicle crashes are still the number one killer of teen drivers and passengers under-20 years old.

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Did you know that distracted driving accounted for 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009? On U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 5,474 fatalities and about 448,000 of motor vehicle crashes involved distracted driving. NHTSA also revealed that of the total fatalities, 995 or 18 percent reported to have cell phones as their distraction.

Distracted driving can offer a serious and potential deadly threat to everyone. As defined by Distraction.gov, “distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.”

Distracted driving are categorized into three main types:

-Visual or taking your eyes off the road;
-Manual or taking your hands off the wheel;
-And cognitive, taking your mind off what you are doing.

Some common forms of distractions are the use of cell phones, texting while driving, talking with passengers, and in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices usage.

Ever notice why motor-vehicle crashes are still considered to be the number one killer of American teens despite the declining number of alcohol-related crashes? This is because distracted driving habits are growing among teens, and resulting accidents are still on the rise. Research shows that about 16 percent of fatal accidents involving distracted drivers are also drivers under-20 years old, according an NHTSA study.

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The use of cell phones has been rapidly increasing over the years, but unfortunately so are the mobile phone related and distracted driving car accidents. Did you know that cell phone usage is the second major reason for car accidents all over the U.S.? In 2009 alone, there are about 5,474 people who were killed and another 448,000 were injured in the U.S. because of road accidents involving distracted driving.

Just last Monday in San Tan Valley, a 39-year old woman was heavily injured in a rollover car accident. Investigators are now looking into a possibility of cell phone use as the cause of the accident. Evidence suggests that the woman, unidentified until now, was apparently on her phone while on her way east to Hunt Highway when her car drifted to the right of the roadway and rolled. Immediately after, she was flown to Scottsdale Osborne Hospital where her condition has not yet been verified.

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