CDC: distracted driving remains a deadly problem

The issue is one that has received a great deal of attention in recent years: distracted drivers are causing an increasing number of car accidents in the U.S. Despite media campaigns, attempts to ban the use of cell phones and other devices behind the wheel and targeting efforts by law enforcement, distracted driving remains a serious problem. A recent report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention demonstrates just how serious this problem is.

According to the CDC, nine people are killed and an additional 1,060 people are injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers in the U.S. each day. To put these numbers into perspective, that means that a person is killed every 2.6 hours in a distraction-related accident. A total of 44 people are injured in these sorts of accidents every hour. What is worse, these numbers are likely too low: the CDC estimates are based only on reports where police are able to definitively link an accident to distracted driving.

Unfortunately, the problem appears to be getting worse. According to the CDC, 3,267 people were killed in distracted driver related motor vehicle accidents in 2010. In 2011, that number increased to 3,331.

Using data from a survey conducted in 2011, the CDC found that about 69 percent of drivers in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 64 have used their cell phones while driving in the past month. About 31 percent admitted that they had sent or read text messages on their phones while behind the wheel. These activities only represent part of the problem, however: the use of navigation systems, radios and other electronic devices while driving is also exceedingly dangerous.

Of course, the CDC report does not provide any new information. Safety experts have known for years that distracted driving is one of the most serious threats to safety on our roads and highways. Unfortunately, despite efforts by the CDC, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and other agencies, distracted driving remains alarmingly common. Indeed, a swerving driver with his head down, hand on his cell phone, is something familiar to almost everyone.

If you have been injured in a distracted driving related car accident, it is important to remember that you do have rights. Speak to a personal injury attorney today to learn more. Depending on the circumstances, you may even be entitled to remuneration for medical bills and pain and suffering.