“Eyes on the Road”: A Good Look at Combatting Distracted Driving

According to a recent data release by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 40,990 lives were claimed in traffic incidents nationally last year. While this number seems daunting, it represents a 3.6% decrease in traffic fatalities. As Texas personal injury attorneys, we see this as a welcome accomplishment, especially since the total distance driven nationwide rose to 67.5 billion miles.

However, Sophie Shulman, the NHTSA’s deputy administrator, highlighted a persisting challenge: the high cost of distracted driving crashes, which “cost… collectively $98 billion in 2019 alone.”

The issue of road safety in America is underscored by a stark warning from Shulman: the consequences of distracted driving, such as driving while texting, can be as minor as a fine or as devastating as death. Over 3,300 lives were lost in 2022 due to distractions behind the wheel, with pedestrians making up a considerable portion of these fatalities. Additionally, this figure is believed to be an underestimation, given the inherent difficulties in proving phone usage post-crash.

The legal landscape reflects a growing awareness and intolerance for this issue– most states now have laws against texting while driving, and many of these have extended these prohibitions to all forms of hand-held cellphone use. Research backs these measures, showing a correlation between comprehensive bans on hand-held phone use and a decrease in driver fatalities. Enforcement and education will also be key strategies in combatting distracted driving.

The impact of distracted driving resonates deeply within communities, touching lives beyond the drivers themselves. So, as the nation observes Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the collective efforts of law enforcement, educators, advocates, and individuals should represent our renewed commitment to safety. The effort to reduce traffic fatalities is ongoing, but with continued focus and action, progress is within reach.

We at the Herd Law Firm, PLLC, support drivers and motorcyclists injured on the road, and have successfully represented such victims seeking the assistance and compensation they so need and deserve.Top of Form


Read more from the NHTSA here.

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