Drivers in Arizona should know that distracted driving is a major hazard. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in 2015, for example, nearly 3,500 people were killed and more than 390,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers. Every day during daylight hours, an average of 660,000 drivers use their cell phones while behind the wheel.
Any activity that takes away attention from the road will increase the risk for an accident. This includes texting, surfing the web, using an in-car navigation system, eating and drinking, and even talking with other occupants of the vehicle. Sending and reading texts, according to NHTSA, take one's eyes off the road for a total of five seconds: in those five seconds, a car going at 55 mph has already traveled the length of a football field.
NHTSA, for its part, continually partners with state and local law enforcement to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. For instance, the agency has established April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, with its nationwide campaign using the slogan: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
Because teens are the largest age group susceptible to distractions, NHTSA encourages parents to set an example and for educators and employers to spread the word about the dangers. Teens could also speak up whenever friends and classmates engage in distracting behavior.
When distractions lead to a motor vehicle accident, victims may be able to file a claim with the negligent driver's insurance company. Victims may benefit from hiring a personal injury lawyer for this process. Lawyers in this field often have an in-house team that may be able to investigate crashes and gather the necessary paperwork and evidence. Lawyers might then estimate a fair settlement and negotiate for it, taking the case to court if the insurance company refuses to pay out.