Distracted driving frequently comes up as an important topic in today’s society. This may cause some people to wonder just how serious a concern distracted driving is. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nine people are killed each day and more than 1,000 are injured in car crashes each day involving distracted drivers, in the United States. More than 3,300 people were killed and about 387,000 people were injured in crashes that involved a distracted driver in 2011 alone. The CDC also reports that in 2010, 18 percent of injury crashes were the result of distracted drivers. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that in 2011, 10 percent of fatal crashes were distracted-driver related.

Distracted driving increases the likelihood of a car crash; it is defined as any activity which removes the driver’s primary focus away from driving. The CDC notes that there are three categories of distracted driving including visual, or taking the driver’s eyes off the roadway; manual, or taking the driver’s hands off the wheel of the vehicle; or cognitive which occurs when the driver’s mind is on something other than driving. Distractions can include cell phone usage, playing with equipment in the vehicle, eating or texting. Texting is considered serious because it implicates all three categories of distracted driving into one activity.

When a car accident victim has been injured by a driver that was distracted at the time of the car crash, victims may wonder what options are available to help with damages that result from the accident. It is important to note that texting while driving has been banned in Massachusetts.

Victims may be able to recover damages for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages from a distracted or otherwise negligent driver. Understanding the significance of the problem and available options if harmed by a distracted driver can be an important consideration for car accident victims following a crash.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Distracted Driving,” Accessed Sept. 29, 2014