Car accidents happen with alarming frequency all over the United States. According to 2015 data released by the National Safety Council, the last year saw the highest percentage increase in fatal traffic accidents. The numbers show that over 38,000 people were killed in car accidents and about 4.4 million people sustained injuries that needed medical attention.
Plenty of factors contribute to making American roads more and more dangerous. Among these factors are distracted driving, which is considered as one of the most common causes for fatal crashes in recent years. As noted by both the U.S. Department of Transportation and National Highway Safety Administration, distracted driving caused more that 3,000 deaths in 2013. Most of these accidents were caused by drivers that were texting or otherwise using their smartphones.
The use of mobile phones can result in particularly devastating accidents because it typically takes up so much of a driver’s attention. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that there are three different components to distracted driving: visual distraction, manual distraction, and cognitive distraction. The first refers to moments when a driver takes their eyes off the road, while the second refers to when a driver takes their hands off the wheel. The last type of distraction refers to when a driver becomes focuses their attention on something else other than the vehicle they’re operating. The use of smartphones while driving can lead to serious injuries because it encompasses all three components of distracted driving.
As with any car crashes, distracted driving accidents can to long-term consequences and serious injuries.