Despite bans on texting while driving, motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving continue to climb, according to a new study. The stakes are especially high when semi trucks drivers text while driving their big rigs.
According to CBS News, the research by the Highway Loss Data Institute shows crashes due to distracted driving are rising in three out of the four states evaluated where texting bans were enacted.
The study illustrates the difficulty governments are having in getting drivers to stop texting, despite overwhelming evidence of the activity’s dangers.
Big Rigs, Big Danger
Perhaps no study to date has better documented the dangers of distracted driving than last year’s Virginia Tech Transportation Institute report. Researchers outfitted the cabs of 18-wheelers with video cameras for a year and a half in order to study the effects of texting by truckers driving semi trucks.
The results were sobering for anyone who drives on highways filled with fast-moving tractor-trailers in San Antonio and Bexar County: when truck drivers text, their risk of collision is 23 times greater than when not texting.
Texting Dangers on the Rise
And the reality is that texting is on the increase, despite widespread efforts across cities and states. The Amarillo Globe-News reports that new Pew Center research shows teens sending and receiving an average of 3,330 texts a month, or 50 per day.
The Nielsen Company says that figure is low, estimating that teens 13 to 17 years old send 100 texts a day .
Inevitably, many of those messages sent and received are when those teenagers are driving motor vehicles. Because most young drivers are inexperienced, texting is even more likely to result in crashes involving injuries and even fatalities.
By the Numbers
The numbers compiled in studies and research paint a somber picture of the dangers of distracted driving:
- 21 percent of 1,630,000 crashes in which injuries are sustained involve distracted driving
- The rate of distracted driving is climbing rapidly: eight percent of fatal crashes in 2004 involved distracted drivers; the number climbed to 11 percent by 2008 and all indications are that the rate continues to go up
- The under-20 age group has the greatest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal accidents: 20 percent
- In 2008, more than half a million people were hurt in traffic crashes caused by a distracted driver
No matter what people drive – cars, pick-up trucks, SUVs, motorcycles, commercial trucks or commercial buses – they pose a danger to themselves and other motorists when they text or talk behind the wheel.
Distracted Driving Victims Can Fight Back
If you have been involved in a distracted driving crash resulting in injuries, or if you have lost a loved one to a distracted driver, contact a Texas personal injury lawyer for an evaluation of the facts of the case. A personal injury attorney helps you get the compensation you and your family deserve.