Motor vehicle accidents have been with us as long as we have had motor vehicles; the first was in 1891, even before Ford’s famous Model A. James William Lambert, inventor, built the single-cylinder automobile and was himself the victim of his own invention. He received minor injuries when his car ran into a hitching post. The modern-day menace caused by texting while driving affects more than just the driver when texting causes motor vehicle accidents. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia notes that crash risk is four times higher with cell phone use (hands-free or not) than without. Many other hard and ugly truths are connected with trying to stay connected while driving.
Motor Vehicle Accidents in America Today
The life-altering consequences of texting while driving has become so pervasive the federal government has a dedicated website to address the issue. The experts have gathered some not just ugly, but downright grim statistics:
- More than 3,154 people killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2013 died in crashes involving distracted drivers
- This works out to around nine deaths per day from motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted drivers
- Another 424,000 drivers and passengers were injured in the same year
- Drivers 20 to 29 make up 27 percent of distracted drivers in fatal motor vehicle accidents
- At any given moment, according to a 2011 study, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated that 660,000 American drivers were using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices
- At 55 miles per hour, when you take your eyes off the road for the average time while texting, five seconds, your car travels 300 feet with you completely unaware of your surroundings
Ugly Truth Behind Distracted Driving
Many innocent motorists whose lives are shattered by motor vehicle accidents caused by a distracted driver might assume the other driver diverted attention from the road for something truly important. Sadly, this is not the case. The ugly truth is that drivers who text are inherently selfish. Their message is more important than their driving. They have inflated opinions of their abilities to multitask. Consider:
- When distracted drivers choose to take their eyes off the road, they are consciously choosing their immediate gratification over the potential risk of fatal motor vehicle accidents
- Males and younger respondents to NHTSA’s 2011 driver survey underestimate the risks their cell phone use places on their driving abilities. In other words, they think themselves better drivers than they are, and are willing to risk others’ lives on their poor judgment
- Upper-income respondents similarly exaggerate their abilities and underplay the risks
- Alarmingly, a third of 18- to 24-year old drivers feel they can take their eyes off the road for up to 10 seconds while driving without significantly increasing their risk (hint: they cannot)
This level of narcissism is dangerous and usually affects completely innocent, conscientious motorists and passengers. The unthinking, selfish drivers who text while driving often suffer minimal personal injuries because, up until the moment of impact in motor vehicle accidents, they are not tensed, anxious or even aware of imminent danger. It is the victims of those selfish drivers who, seeing an impending accident, usually tense up and suffer soft tissue injuries.
If you or a family member has been affected by Philadelphia motor vehicle accidents in which cell phone use may have contributed to the accidents, contact Ginsburg & Associates right away. We can help uncover the complete picture of the accident, preserve your rights, and protect you financially. Texting while driving is illegal in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Ginsburg & Associates has attorneys experienced with holding texting lawbreakers accountable for the damage and suffering their thoughtlessness cause. Contact our offices today.