Distracted driving has been linked with a worrying rise in road deaths in recent years, and a study of more than 20,000 motorists in Arizona and around the country suggests that this dangerous behavior is especially common during the summer months. After analyzing information gathered by one of its smartphone applications, the technology company TrueMotion determined that drivers are distracted a worrying 25 percent of the time during June, July and August.
Studies such as this one have road safety experts worried because the summer months are also when traffic levels are at their highest and congestion is at its worst. Higher numbers of pedestrians and increased construction activity are also reasons why traffic fatalities in June, July and August are 29 percent higher than they are in December, January and February.
Government, nonprofit and industry groups are actively looking for ways to combat the nation's growing distracted driving problem. The Travelers Institute, which is the public policy division of the Travelers Companies Inc., is holding a symposium in the nation's capital on June 15 to bring attention to research like the TrueMotion Study. The Road to Zero Coalition and the National Safety Council are co-hosting the event.
Motorists who look at their cellphone screens instead of the road ahead rarely have time to apply their brakes or swerve to avoid crashing, and they are sometimes killed in the accidents they cause. Distracted drivers who kill or seriously injure other road users could also face serious criminal charges. When negligent parties are deceased or face decades of imprisonment, experienced personal injury attorneys may help pursue compensation on behalf of their victims by filing lawsuits against their insurance companies or estates. Attorneys might be able to use evidence such as police reports, wireless service records, internet activity and automobile electronic data to establish that distraction played a role and encourage the defendants in such cases to settle quickly.