We all know that texting and driving is dangerous, but this does not stop some drivers in Connecticut from doing so on a regular basis. However, texting and driving is not the only way motorists can be distracted while behind the wheel. Talking on a cellphone, grooming, manipulating the controls on the radio or a GPS system, eating and even chatting with passengers are all behaviors that can lead to distracted driving accidents.
How big is the distracted driving problem in the U.S.?
It is important not to underestimate just how big the distracted driving problem is in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2012 to 2018, around 23,000 people lost their lives in crashes involving a distracted driver. In 2018 alone, 2,841 people died in collisions involving a distracted driver. That is too many lives lost due to actions that are entirely preventable if drivers are upholding their duty of care.
How can we prevent texting and driving?
Motorists have options when it comes to safe driving. For example, if they have to use a cellphone to make a call or send or receive a text message, they should pull over to the side of the road, into a parking lot or another safe place, and put their car in park before taking that phone call or addressing that text messages.
Another option is to place a passenger in the position of “designated texter,” who will handle any text messages the driver receives while behind the wheel. If a motorist has no passengers, and simply cannot ignore the ringing of their cellphone or the ding of a text message, they can keep their cellphone in an inaccessible location while driving such as the trunk of their car.
Distracted driving breaches a motorist’s duty of care
All motorists in Connecticut have the duty to drive safely. If this duty is breached due to distracted driving, including texting and driving, and this breach causes a car crash, the crash victims may be able to pursue compensation against the responsible driver. Those who have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver will want to take the steps necessary to better understand their legal rights and options.