Many teens use phones when they drive, but millions more adults are behind the wheel on America’s roadways, and a recent Harris poll found that high numbers of adults text and phone and drive despite knowing the danger.
Dangers are known
More than 90 percent of adults surveyed said they believed sending and reading texts while driving was dangerous or very dangerous, but more than one-third admitted to doing it.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving distracted driving in 2012, with more than 420,000 injured. NHTSA and many other concerned organizations, including the Terrell • Hogan personal injury and wrongful death law firm and EndDD.org, have been spreading the word about the dangers of distracted driving. According to the recent poll that surveyed 2,045 adults, these efforts are working:
• More than 9 in 10 said sending and reading texts while driving is dangerous or very dangerous.
• More than half said checking texts while stopping at a red light is dangerous.
• Nearly 70% said talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving is dangerous.
• More than one-third said that even talking on a hands-free cell phone is dangerous.
Education is working
One message we at Terrell • Hogan focus on in our complimentary distracted driving awareness presentations for high schools and businesses and non-profits is “Hands-free is not all it’s cracked up to be;” it is just as dangerous as hand-held driving because a hands-free call still distracts the brain; a brain on the phone is not focused on the job of driving. We find that 99% will acknowledge this experience: When on the phone while driving, they have either missed their exit, intersection or turn-in, or wondered whether they missed it.
Many adults are still driving distracted, despite knowing the danger:
• Nearly three-fourths admitted to talking on a cell phone.
• 45% said they read texts, while 37% admitted to sending texts.
• More than one-third stated they used smartphones and tablets to look things up.
• Nearly one-quarter admitted to posting to social media sites.
• More than one-fourth admitted to engaging in personal grooming.
• One-fourth of those between the ages of 18 and 36 admitted to frequently talking on the cell phone, reading text messages, and sending texts.
Every day, we at Terrell • Hogan represent victims of personal injury and wrongful death as they seek justice, but helping prevent accidents and injuries is also a constant focus. Lawsuits we have pursued for deserving victims have prompted safety changes, but that came after the accidents and injuries happened. We think it’s important to try to find ways to prevent injuries and wrongful deaths before they happen. That’s why we hope that with continued efforts to raise awareness, more drivers will choose to say off the phone while driving and arrive alive.
One text or call can wreck it all.
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