Distracted Driving Statistics and Impact

Recent statistics show a concerning rise in distracted driving incidents, leading to a surge in related lawsuits. Some high-profile cases highlight the devastating consequences of drivers shifting their focus away from the road.

In September 2021, George Cole obtained a $12 million settlement after a distracted driving accident. A New York state trooper, distracted by his phone, crashed into Cole’s minivan leaving him paralyzed.[1]

A notable case from 2023 resulted in a $10 million wrongful death settlement for the family of Rosie Minor[2], an ordained minister who lost her life in a T-bone collision in Atlanta. Driver Nikia Cherry drove at high speeds and used her cell phone at the time of the accident. Although initial reports blamed Minor, evidence, including eyewitness accounts and security footage, proved Cherry’s negligence.

Rosie and George’s cases underscore the importance of holding negligent drivers accountable for car accidents. If someone else’s negligence caused you injury, it is important to understand what compensation is available.

Distracted Driving Statistics

Distracted drivers[3] continue to be an issue on our roads, leading to countless accidents, severe injuries, and tragic fatalities. The following statistics paint a chilling picture of the widespread impact of distracted driving:[4]

  • In 2022, distracted driving claimed 3,308 lives in the United States.[5]
  • Crashes involving distracted drivers accounted for approximately 324,652 injuries in 2020.[6]
  • Nine people die every day in the United States due to distracted driving.[7]
  • Despite many states banning texting while driving[8], 12% of all car accidents involve cell phone use.[9]
  • Drivers were 30% more distracted in February 2022 than in February 2020, a significant increase from pre-pandemic levels.[10]

These statistics show the impact of distracted driving. For more information on how to secure funding if you’ve been in a collision due to distracted driving, visit our broadside collision funding page. Negligent driving is a pressing issue, and instances are only increasing.

Distracted Driving Cases Are Increasing

Far too many auto accidents show no evidence of braking, skid marks, or sudden stops in traffic. These are all strong indicators of distracted driving. Experts categorize the phenomenon into three main types.

Visual Distractions

These occur when drivers take their eyes off the road. Common examples include looking at a billboard, reading a message, or texting. Distracted driving statistics show that taking your eyes off the road for just 5 seconds at 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of a football field without looking.[11]

Manual Distractions

These happen when drivers take their hands off the wheel. Distractions may include eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, or typing on your cell phone.

Cognitive Distractions

These involve drivers taking their minds off the road while driving. Examples include phone calls (even on a hands-free device), daydreaming, and heated conversations with a passenger.[12] Cognitive distractions are particularly dangerous, as they can cause drivers to miss critical events or signals on the road, even when they’re right in front of them.

Despite various measures to curb distracted driving, such as hands-free laws and public awareness campaigns, distracted driving cases continue to rise. It’s a disturbing trend that underpins the ongoing need for stricter enforcement and more robust education on the dangers of distracted driving.

USClaims offers car accident pre-settlement funding for those seeking financial support during legal battles. Being fully aware of your options can help you navigate a wrongful death or injury by a negligent driver lawsuit.

Distracted Driving May Cause Deaths and Injuries

Numerous avoidable deaths and injuries occur due to distracted drivers every year, as evidenced in these distracted driving statistics:

  • Driver inattention and impairment combined were the second most common driver-related causes of fatal large truck accidents.[13]
  • Projections for 2023 suggest around 40,990 people lost their lives in traffic crashes that year.[14]
  • Almost 20% of those killed in distracted driving crashes in 2022 were pedestrians, cyclists, and other non-vehicle occupants.[9]

While drowsiness, eating or drinking, and engaging with passengers are common distractions, daydreaming and cell phone use cause a majority of devastation on the roads.

More Distracted Drivers Using Cell Phones

Distracted driving statistics highlight the worrying truth about cell phone use while driving:

  • In 2021, 2.5% of drivers held their phones to their ears while behind the wheel.[15]
  • The proportion of drivers handling electronic devices has surged by 82%, rising from 1.7% in 2013 to 3.1% in 2022.[16]
  • 6 p.m. to midnight is the peak time for distracted driving.[17]

These persistent trends in cell phone use while driving emphasize the urgent need for ongoing education and stricter enforcement to curb this careless behavior.

Changing Laws to Reduce Distracted Driving

Handheld device bans are one primary legislative approach to reducing distracted driving. As of 2023, 34 states and the District of Columbia have laws banning drivers from using hand-held cell phones.[18] Additionally, 49 states and the District of Columbia have banned texting while driving.[18] Such laws aim to minimize distractions and encourage drivers to focus on the road.

The real-world impact of legislation is inconsistent between states. Those with rigorous enforcement and prominent public awareness campaigns have seen a reduction in distracted driving incidents. Unfortunately, some states struggle with enforcement. As such, the effectiveness of laws alone in reducing accidents is unclear.

In addition to state laws, national campaigns such as NHTSA’s “Put the Phone Away or Pay” spread awareness about the importance of attentive driving.[19] Campaigns and high-visibility enforcement can change driver behavior through education and strict violation penalties.

While legislative measures and technological solutions make some progress in addressing distracted driving, further reducing its prevalence requires continuous efforts.

For more information on negotiating a car accident settlement, visit our negotiating a car accident settlement page.

How USClaims Can Assist Victims of Distracted Driving

Despite increasingly robust laws aimed at curbing distracted driving, accidents caused by distracted drivers continue to rise. The ongoing prevalence of these incidents highlights the urgent need for legal and financial support for those affected. Victims of distracted driving accidents and their families often face overwhelming medical bills, lost wages, and other financial hardships while waiting for their legal cases to settle. Thankfully, USClaims offers a vital solution through pre-settlement funding.

If approved, pre-settlement funding can help cover your essential living expenses, medical bills, and other costs incurred during your legal battle. USClaims provides the financial stability you need to focus on your case. Apply now or call us today at 1-877-USCLAIMS to learn how we can assist you.

The availability of pre-settlement funding varies by state. Contact USClaims for more information.

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