Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP

Examining distracted driving statistics

Each day, traffic collisions lead to severe injuries and claim lives. From intoxication to speeding and other types of reckless behavior, these crashes happen in San Francisco and all over California for many reasons. However, distracted driving is especially widespread and can affect people who try their best to follow traffic safety guidelines.

During 2015, distracted driving resulted in more than 3,400 fatalities, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports. On top of the loss of life, distracted driving also caused 391,000 injuries over the course of the same year. To put it in perspective, if a driver diverts his or her attention from the road while traveling at 55 miles per hour for five seconds, which is the average amount of time someone takes to view or send a text message, they will have driven the span of a football field. The likelihood of a traffic collision is increased significantly when a driver is not paying attention to obstacles and other vehicles on the road.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has drawn attention to three primary forms of distracted driving, which include distractions that take a driver’s attention away from driving, result in his or her hands being taken away from the steering wheel or eyes not focusing on what lies ahead. There are all sorts of reasons why a driver may become distracted, such as the use of a cell phone, eating food, using a GPS, trying to read a map or talking with other people in the vehicle, to name some.

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