Most people here in New York have experienced a car crash at some point in their lives. Usually, the damage to the vehicles involved is minimal and no one gets seriously hurt. However, not everyone is so lucky and some may end up losing their lives. Motor vehicle accidents have numerous causes, but one that researchers find particularly concerning are those accidents caused by distracted driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has some sobering statistics that might make people think twice about the way that they drive.
The NHTSA reports that more than 2,800 people died in car crashes due to distracted driving in 2018 alone. For the last seven years, it’s estimated that 9% of fatal car crashes could be attributed to distracted driving. The NHSTA also estimates that around 23,000 people lost their lives from 2012 to 2018 for the same reason.
One of the most common ways that people engage in distracted driving is by using their phone to send text messages from behind the wheel. The NHSTA says that when people text and drive, they stop looking at the road for 5 seconds. Though that doesn’t seem very long, when a car is traveling at 55 mph, a person could drive the length of a football field in that amount of time. The best bet is to ask another person besides the driver to handle the texting or to keep the phone out of the driver’s reach while operating the vehicle.
A fatal car crash is tragic no matter the circumstances, but when it is due to a preventable cause, such as distracted driving, it may be particularly upsetting. Those here in New York who have lost loved ones due to distracted driving motor vehicle accidents may not know their available legal options. An attorney who focuses on personal injury and wrongful death claims can help families find their way through this difficult time.