Are You Driving While Distracted?
Distracted driving is not a new phenomenon. For as long as people have been behind the wheel of a vehicle, some have struggled to stay focused on the task at hand-driving. While cellphones are commonly blamed for luring the attention of drivers away from the road, anything that results in that outcome, is considered distracted driving. The activity is problematic as it can lead to accidents that seriously injure those involved. In the worst cases they could result in death.
Distracted driving is an issue throughout the nation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Commission estimating inattentive driving plays a part in a minimum of 3,000 deaths annually. As a recent report illustrates, Wisconsin drivers are not immune from the activity. According to USA Today Network-Wisconsin, in 2015, the number of crashes that occurred in the state in which distracted driving played a role, was up as compared to the year before. The 2,000 more distracted driving crashes that occurred last year brought the total to 24,000. These crashes led to approximately 10,600 people suffering injuries. A total of 94 people died.
In an effort to discourage drivers from engaging in distracting activities while driving, many states have passed laws prohibiting the behavior. In addition to using a cellphone to call, text or check email, engaging in the following activities while operating a vehicle can also be considered distracted driving:
- Attending to children
- Reading maps and using navigation systems
- Eating and drinking
What Can Be Done?
According to the community liaison officer for one Wisconsin town’s police department, passing laws prohibiting the behavior is not enough. Instead, he believes improvement will only occur when drivers chose to develop better driving habits. For future drivers this begins with current drivers setting a good example now.
If you are hurt, or lost a loved one, in a crash caused by a distracted driver, you may be unsure of what actions to take. While if you are hurt, getting the medical attention you need is important, you should also be aware of your legal rights. At Martin Law Office, located in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, we understand the importance of both. Contact us to learn how we may help you.