Not a day seems to go by without some news outlet citing the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC). This is due to COVID-19 updates. However, the CDC’s scope goes well beyond the viruses, including other issues like travelers’ health to emergency preparedness. It also includes such risky behaviors as distracted driving.
In typical fashion, it offers a lot of information as objective truth. Its distracted driving page quickly points out that eight people die each day in The United States because of distracted driving. That added up to 2,800 fatalities in 2018 – with only one in five victims driving an auto, the rest were walking, riding a bike or outside a vehicle. This was down from a high of 3,526 in 2015. There were also 400,000 victims injured by distracted drivers that year.
Three types of distractions
The agency defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the responsibility of driving. The three main types of distractions are:
- Taking eyes off the road
- Not concentrating on the act of driving
- Taking hands off the steering wheel
The CDC also pointed out that the largest group of distracted drivers divided by age were teens between 15-19 years old (particularly among the older two years in that group).
Numbers not going down fast enough
The agency pointed out that states have been proactive in enacting laws that discourage distracted driving, including banning texting while driving, implementing hands-free cellphone laws and limiting the number of young passengers riding with teen drivers.
The traffic rules are not enough
While there is some good news from the CDC, distracted driving is risky behavior, with thousands injured each day. Victims and their loved ones can hold the driver or the teen driver’s parents accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit. It can help cover the loss of income while out of work and medical expenses not covered by insurance. Texas also allows victims to cite physical and mental pain and suffering as part of the damages.