Despite What You May Have Heard, Slowing Down to Text is Not Safer
Texting while driving is dangerous. Yet, despite this well known fact, many drivers erroneously believe that slowing down to text will keep them safer. A new study found this to be simply untrue. In fact, they found that drivers who slowed down to use their smartphones actually increased the odds of a crash.
Researchers at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia examined what hazards existed when drivers used their phones while driving. Drivers who slowed down actually caused other drivers around them to react more aggressively, thereby increasing the likelihood of a crash. They also found that the mere use of a cellphone while driving quadrupled the risk of being involved in a crash.
The study was conducted by recruiting 32 young drivers and using a driving simulator. They had the drivers maneuver a vehicle under various traffic conditions and they were instructed to perform these maneuvers in three ways:
- Driving without the use of any device
- Driving while using a handheld phone
- Driving while using hands-free technology
Drivers who used a smartphone while driving were more likely to be involved in a rear end accident. They were also more likely to encounter agitated and aggressive drivers and more likely to experience gridlock on the roads.
How Prevalent is Texting and Driving?
It is estimated that at any given time of day, approximately 660,000 drivers are using their smartphones while driving. In fact, the National Safety Council reported that texting while driving caused 1.6 million crashes each and every year and 330,000 injuries. This means that 1 out of every 4 car accidents was caused by texting and driving. In 2012 alone, 3,328 people were killed in distraction related car accidents.
Texting is dangerous because it takes your eyes off of the road, takes your hands off of the steering wheel, and takes your brain off of the task of driving. In fact, answering a text takes an average of 5 seconds. If you were traveling at a speed of 55 mph, then you would travel the length of a football field before you looked back up!
Teenagers, in particular, are at an increased risk for getting into a deadly car accident because of texting and driving. 11 teenagers a day die as a result of texting and driving. Even though 94% of all teen drivers know that texting and driving is dangerous and should be avoided, 35% admit to doing it anyway. Sadly, 21% of all teen drivers that were involved in fatal accidents were directly distracted by their phones.
When Accidents Happen
If you have been injured in a car accident with a driver that was texting, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced car accident attorney will be able to help investigate your accident and build a case that is designed to obtain maximum compensation. Never sign anything with the insurance company before first speaking to an experienced attorney. Your insurance company does not have your best interest in mind. Their main concern is their bottom line and they will try to reduce their liabilities by offering you a low-ball settlement. Sadly, this settlement is rarely enough to cover all of your expenses.
Contact Our Milwaukee Car Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, it is important to speak to an experienced Milwaukee car accident lawyer immediately. At Aiken & Scoptur, S.C., we work with credible expert professionals to investigate and document car accident cases. We fight aggressively for our injured clients. Call us today!