How many accidents are caused by distracted driving?

Distracted driving is more common both in Indiana and across the United States. Each year, driver distractions result in horrific crashes that injure more than 430,000 people and kill nearly 3,200, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimate that as many as one in four accidents are caused by some form of driver distraction.

As startling as these statistics are, they don't even show the whole picture. The truth is that it's impossible to know just how many accidents are caused by distracted driving for several reasons. Police may be unable to identify distracted driving as the cause of an accident, or they may not note accident-causing distractions in their reports in a way that's quantifiable to researchers. Additionally, some distracted drivers die in these crashes, so there isn't an explanation for what happened.

distracted driver coffeeEven if distracted drivers are fortunate enough to survive accidents, they're rarely willing to implicate themselves as the cause of the crash for fear of potential criminal charges or civil lawsuits.

While we may never be able to conclusively know how many accidents distracted driving causes, researchers have identified several distracted driving behaviors that greatly increase one's chances of being involved in a car accident. These distractions include:

  • Talking, texting, or emailing on a cell phone
  • Eating or drinking
  • Applying makeup
  • Using an in-vehicle or phone-based navigation system
  • Watching videos

Texting is considered one of the most dangerous behaviors of distracted driving, as it requires drivers to take their eyes off the road and at least one hand off the wheel, and diverts their mental focus away from piloting the vehicle. The current NHTSA data indicates 38 percent of distracted drivers were using cell phones at the time of a fatal crash.

Were You Injured in an Accident?

If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be eligible to seek compensation from the at-fault party. Sevenish Law can help you explore your legal options. Contact our Indianapolis office today to make an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss the details of your case.