You’re not reading this blog while driving in Pennsylvania, are you? Of course not! That would be distracted driving! You’re a careful driver, obeying all the rules of the road, right? If that’s the case, you are in the minority.
Most drivers admit to it
According to a new study by Esurance, 58 percent of drivers admit to engaging in occasional or frequent distracted behavior while driving. Perhaps more shocking, those drivers are 36 percent less likely to be “very concerned” about their dangerous behavior than motorists who say they are “rarely distracted.”
These numbers are important because about 10 percent of all traffic fatalities are related to distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If that percentage seems low, it probably is because many motorists are unlikely to admit that they were engaged in distracted driving such as texting, emailing and browsing apps before an accident.
The Esurance survey involved more than 1,000 participants. While more than 90 percent agreed that paying more attention to their smartphone than the road was wrong, more than half of daily commuters admitted to engaging in such behavior anyway.
The survey also dug a little deeper into the so-called conveniences of today’s driving technologies. Compared to just a few years ago, more and more vehicles are equipped with navigation systems, adaptive cruise control, infotainment systems and other technology. Rather than making the task of driving safer and easier, some motorists say the explosive growth of technology provides them with additional distractions.
What can you do to protect yourself and your family?
To minimize the temptation of becoming distracted, put your phone somewhere out of sight or silence its notifications. Program your navigation system before you begin your journey, not after you’re already on the road. If something demands your attention while you are driving – an unruly child, for example – pull over somewhere safe. In short, use common sense to avoid the pitfalls of distracted driving.
No matter what you do, though, distracted drivers are all over the roads of Pennsylvania. You don’t need surveys or government statistics to tell you that. The inconsiderate, and sometimes illegal behavior, is evident on Pennsylvania roads every day. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you’ve got your hands full dealing with the physical, emotional, mental and financial impact of your situation. At worst, you may have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one. At the same time, an insurance company is pressuring you to accept a settlement for far less than you deserve – and far less than you need.
What you need is someone who is going to put your best interests first. Since 1977, the Pennsylvania car accident injury lawyers at Marcus and Mack have been fighting for the rights of injury victims and their families in Western and Central Pennsylvania, with offices in Indiana and Johnstown. Contact us today and find out how we can help you.