Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Barry J. Schoch recently said, “Driving is a serious business that requires a driver’s complete and full attention.” Unfortunately, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) 2011 crash estimates indicate that many drivers are ignoring that advice. PennDOT estimates that distracted driving contributed to more than 14,200 motor vehicle accidents in Pennsylvania last year. While many drivers are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, others believe that they can operate a car safely while distracted.
A 2010 National Phone Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirms that many people believe the dangers of distracted driving apply to other drivers, but not to themselves. The NHTSA interviewed 6,002 adult drivers regarding their attitudes and beliefs about distracted driving. The survey found that:
- Most people will answer their cell phone and have a phone conversation while driving.
- 18 percent of all drivers have sent a text or email while driving.
- Nearly half of drivers aged 21-24 have sent a text or email while driving.
- More than half of the drivers said that talking on the phone does not affect their driving performance.
- More than a quarter of the drivers said that texting does not affect their driving performance.
- 90 percent of drivers said they would feel very unsafe if they were a passenger in a car where the driver was texting.
- One-third of drivers said they would feel very unsafe if they were a passenger in a car where the driver was talking on the phone.
According to the survey results, U.S. drivers regularly use wireless devices to make phone calls and send text messages and emails while they are driving a motor vehicle. Some choose to ignore the dangers of distracted driving; others believe that driving while distracted makes no difference in their driving performance. The Harrisburg car accident lawyers at Schmidt Kramer are committed to promoting driver safety in and around Lebanon. They urge drivers to put down their cell phones while driving. If you have been injured by the careless or negligent act of a distracted driver, call one of our attorneys at 888-476-0807 for prompt and free advice about your case. You may also download a free copy of our book Who Pays the Bills When You Are Injured in an Automobile Accident? for more information.