The dangers of drinking and driving are well known and much effort has been put into discouraging drivers from getting behind the wheel after they have consumed alcohol. According to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Cohen Children’s Medical Center, the same efforts may now be necessary to prevent dangerous distracted driving accidents.
Research now indicates that more teenagers are killed in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers than those caused by drunk drivers. This may be in large part because of the significant decrease in teens who drive while intoxicated – and the notable increase in the number of teens who drive while distracted. According to the CDC, since 1991, the number of teens who have driven while intoxicated has declined by 54 percent.
While teens may be wary of drinking and driving, the same concern has not been seen for using cellphones while behind the wheel. A study of almost 9,000 teenagers conducted by the Cohen Children’s Medical Center revealed that 49 percent of teen boys and 45 percent of teen girls texted while driving.
Not only are teen drivers significantly affected by distracted driving, the number of people across the country who have been killed in such accidents has been on the rise. In 2010, there were 3,267 fatalities in the U.S. caused by distracted driving accidents. By 2011, that number had risen to 3,331. In addition, many people sustain serious personal injuries as a result of such auto accidents – around 387,000 in 2011 alone.
Avoid distracted driving collisions in Arizona
Arizona has been slow to adopt legislation banning certain types of distracted driving. Currently, only school bus drivers in Arizona are regulated when it comes to distracted driving. School bus drivers are prohibited from using any type of cellphone, whether it has hands-free technology or not, when behind the wheel.
Many other states have adopted stricter regulations to prevent distracted driving collisions. For instance, some states now prohibit all motorists from texting while behind the wheel. Government agencies have focused much attention on preventing texting while driving, as the behavior significantly increases the risk of a collision. According to a study conducted by Virginia Tech, texting motorists are 23 times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle accident than drivers who are not distracted.
When someone sustains injuries in a distracted driving accident, seeking the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer in Phoenix is a prudent step to ensure their rights are protected.