According to recent data from the Arizona Department of Public Safety, distracted driving caused 11% of all auto crashes.
The 1,613 total crashes killed 10 people and injured 380 people.
Exactly what is distracted driving? Since April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it is time to shed light on this growing issue. Distracted driving includes, in part, texting behind the wheel, eating, drinking, talking to others in the car, reading, watching a TV or video, using a GPS system, adjusting the radio, and grooming.
In the Arizona Department of Public Safety’s report, “outside distractions” accounted for 22% of the crashes, while reaching for objects in the car and cell phone use were next with 11% each.
In the United States in 2013, distracted driving crashes killed more than 3,100 people, according to the US Department of Transportation. What’s more, reckless driving collisions caused injuries to 424,000 people. This represents an increase of about 3,000 people from the previous year.
Texting While Driving
It doesn’t look like the numbers are likely to go down anytime soon. By the end of 2013, an estimated 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the United States every month, according to USDOT.
For drivers under the age of 20, 10% of all involved in car crashes were reportedly distracted at the time. What’s more, drivers in their 20s make up 27% of the distracted drivers involved in fatal auto accidents.
USDOT also notes that at any given moment during the day across the country, there are about 660,000 drivers using a cell phone behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Laws in Arizona
Arizona is one of only five states in the United States without a ban on cellphone use for all drivers. Arizona bans cell phone use only for school bus drivers. The 45 other states and Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all people behind the wheel. Attempts to codify a cell phone ban for all Arizona drivers in the state legislature have failed as recently as earlier this year.
On the local level, the cities of Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Tucson have banned text messaging while driving. Fees for texting while driving in these cities range from $100 to $250 if that action was the cause of an auto accident.
Did a distracted driver hit you ever in Arizona?
If a distracted driver hit you ever in Arizona, you may be able to recover financial compensation. Talk to the experienced personal injury lawyers at the Thompson Law Firm right away to assess your options. You should not suffer lost wages and potentially future earnings because of the irresponsibility of another driver.
The Thompson Law Firm can help you work with your insurance company, the insurance company of the other driver, and with ultimately filing a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for medical bills, future health expenses, any lost job earnings, damage to your car, and more.