Major car accidents are on the rise in the United States. After many years of improving traffic safety, the last two years have seen a sharp and alarming reversal in the trend. In 2015, the total number of traffic fatalities increased by the largest percentage in more than 50 years. In 2016, the number of traffic deaths saw another large increase, this time by six percent.
After reviewing this data, highway safety experts caution that there are likely several different factors contributing to these increases. Some of the causes are somewhat innocuous. For example, part of the increase is simply due to the fact that Americans have started driving more frequently in the last two years.
However, some of the factors causing the increase in major traffic accidents are extremely troubling. Federal highway safety officials believe that the single biggest change in the past two years is that there has been a substantial increase in impaired driving. More specifically, there has been an increase in distracted driving caused by people texting while behind the wheel.
Unfortunately, texting while driving is highly prevalent on our roadways. It is difficult to obtain precise numbers on just how frequently people text while driving, and many researchers believe that this issue is chronically underreported. Though, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one-third of American drivers admit to sometimes texting while driving. This unsafe behavior leads to a tragic number of preventable accidents. A study from the National Safety Council (NSC) found that a minimum of 341,000 car accidents happen in the United States each year because of texting while driving. Sadly, the true figure may be far larger than that.
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Texting while driving, even if the driver is only reading a text message, requires a person to take their focus and attention off of the road. Doing this for any amount of time is a major impairment, and it significantly increases the risk of an accident. One study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that drivers take their eyes off of the road for an average of nearly five seconds each time they send a text message. This leads to many different problems, from slowed reaction time to missing stops signs and red lights to erratic swerving.
Nevada drivers have a duty to always operate their vehicle in a safe manner. The failure to do so is negligence. If a driver’s negligence leads to an accident, then that driver can be held legally liable for any damages related to that crash. Texting while driving is one of the clearest and most obvious forms of negligent driving. Simply put, there is no way to operate a vehicle safely while also texting. If you were injured by a driver who was texting, or a driver who you believe might have been texting, then you should consult with a top-rated Las Vegas, Nevada texting while driving attorney as soon as possible.
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