Levine Law’s collection of Distracted Driving news articles compiles stories that show how speeding, texting and driving, and other dangerous distractions can lead to motor vehicle accidents.
Driver Distraction Causes Many Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Accidents
While it’s true that drunk drivers are menaces to all who share their roadways in Wisconsin and all other states, alcohol is not always a causal factor of collision. Some motor vehicle accidents occur because of distracted driving, poor road conditions or any number of other issues. A recent crash that occurred on a Wednesday near Cottage Grove involved two cars, and resulted in injury and a fatality.
One of the vehicles was reportedly traveling in a westbound direction on Interstate 94 at the time. Authorities say it appears that the vehicle slowed down or stopped in the right lane of traffic. Moments later, another vehicle, also heading west, collided with the first car.
Two people suffered injuries in the crash. Sadly, the injuries suffered by a 61-year-old man proved fatal. The other injured party was a 34-year-old man. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment, and his injuries were not considered life-threatening. Investigators say they have ruled out alcohol as a possible factor in the incident.
All westward lanes were closed to traffic until approximately 1 a.m. the following day. Wisconsin motor vehicle accidents that result in death often lead to serious financial problems for families who are left to meet medical expenses for care provided at the scene, funeral expenses and other accident-related costs. When driver negligence is determined to have caused fatal injury, a spouse, parent or adult child of a deceased victim may pursue recovery for losses by filing a wrongful death claim in a civil court.
Speed Is Often a Factor in Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Accidents
Wisconsin roadways are often dangerous places, even at 1:30 a.m. and the wee hours that follow. While it is logical to assume that traffic would not be so heavy at such times, it does not mean that motorists are guaranteed to arrive safely to their destinations, especially if a driver is reckless. Motor vehicle accidents often occur when vehicle operators travel at excessive speeds, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or become distracted at the wheel.
Speed appears to have been the most significant factor in a recent one-car collision that had fatal results. Two men, both age 54, were traveling together when the crash occurred. Police who responded to the scene say the driver was likely speeding moments before his car careened off the road.
The vehicle crashed into a tree stump. The driver’s injuries were serious, and he was flown to a trauma center equipped to handle the situation. Officials say the passenger was wearing proper seat restraint when the collision occurred. Sadly, he succumbed to his injuries at the scene. The man who died was from New Jersey, and the driver of the vehicle was from Illinois.
Oconto County authorities say it was the second fatal crash in the area this year. Wisconsin state patrol officers are continuing their investigation of the incident. Motor vehicle accidents often devastate more than those directly involved. When a crash proves fatal, immediate family members of the victim may seek legal accountability against any party or parties deemed responsible for their loss.
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.
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