Is Distracted Driving a Major Cause of Car Accidents?

Maintaining focus on the road is one of the most important lessons taught in driver education courses throughout the country and even emphasized within state road manuals regulating license privileges. However, statistics show that more and more people are apparently losing focus on the roads each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving caused 3,477 people to lose their lives in 2015 alone. Automobile accidents involving distracted drivers also led to 391,000 injured people the same year. This means that there is a high risk of Montgomery car accidents for everyone on the road.

How Does Distracted Driving Affect Montgomery Car Accidents?

Is distracted driving a problem in Alabama? Does it cause Montgomery car accidents and crashes to occur within Montgomery? A report published by the University of Alabama showed that this unfortunate condition of losing focus on the roads is also prevalent in this state, as well. Multiple studies confirm that 16 percent of fatal Montgomery car accidents are caused by some form of distracted driving.

The report further states that the number of reported crashes involving distracted driving increased by nearly 20% over the statistics from 2014. According to Drive Safe Alabama, there were 789 fatal crashes reported in 2015. This means that an estimated 119 of them were caused by distracted drivers – an average of more than two crashes each week.

Is Texting a Primary Factor of Distracted Driving in Montgomery, AL?

A growing number of studies and reports confirm that sending and receiving text messages while driving plays a vital role in the dangerous distracted driving experienced throughout the state (and overall country). Keep in mind that there are three different types of distractions that one may encounter while behind the wheel:

  • Cognitive: When you take your mind off driving (otherwise known as “auto-pilot”)
  • Visual: When you take your eyes off of the road (either looking elsewhere inside or outside of your vehicle)
  • Manual: Remove your hands from the wheel (eating while driving, reaching for the cell phone, trying to “multitask” while driving)

According to the CDC, texting is an extreme danger simply because it forces drivers to combine all three types of distractions into one incident. To send or read a text message with a mobile device in a typical scenario, you must:

  1. Remove your hand from the wheel to hold your mobile device (manual)
  2. Use your eyes to read a received message or type out a new one (visual)
  3. Focus on the message, the sender or both instead of giving your undivided attention to the road in front of you (cognitive)

Further studies have shown that it takes a minimum of 5 seconds to shift your focus from the road to your mobile device to send or read a text message while on the road.  You could cover an entire football field traveling 55 miles per hour within the same 5-second period – painting a clear picture of the danger of the life-threatening decision to text while driving.

Will the Ban on Texting Prevent Montgomery Car Accidents?

Long before the enforcement of the statewide ban on texting, it was already illegal in cities such as Montgomery. Alabama later became one of the 39 states with an active ban on texting and driving, according to WSFA 12 News. In addition to receiving two demerit points on your driving record from the State Department of Public Safety, violating this enforced law also leads to an issued ticket and related fines of:

  • $25 for the first offense
  • $50 for the second offense
  • $75 for third and subsequent offenses

In an interview with WSFA 12 News, Alabama State Trooper Curtis Summerville said that an innocent and “totally honest” person who “never committed a crime” could find themselves in trouble with the law simply by sending a text message behind the wheel on the road. The stakes are slightly higher in the city of Montgomery since there was already a ban on texting in place. The fact that it is a state law makes the crime of texting and driving a primary offense which means that police officers do not have to catch you speeding or violating any other laws of the road just to pull you over for questions and citations.

Can an Alabama Car Accident Attorney Help You with a Distracted Driving Case?

If you have been injured in an auto accident caused by distracted driving, you should call a car accident attorney in Montgomery right away. Our team at the Vance Law Firm will assign an attorney to your case to educate you on your options, assist you with filing statements and corresponding testimonies, and protect your rights while trying to get the best results on your behalf in the courtroom. Call us today to schedule your free consultation so we can get started right away!

The Vance Law Firm