Over 30 percent of drivers admit a distraction-related near miss

| Apr 8, 2019 | Personal Injury |

Have you been in a car crash because of a distracted driver? Unfortunately, it isn’t uncommon. Nearly 80 percent of drivers talk on the phone while driving. More than 30 percent of drivers in a recent survey admitted that they had experienced a near miss on the road because of their own distraction.

If you were injured due to another person’s distracted driving, you are in an uncomfortable position. Not only are you injured and in pain, but you may not be able to work for a time. Those lost wages make it hard to make ends meet. If you’re out of work for too long, you could lose your health insurance. Meanwhile, the medical bills are piling up — and none of this was your fault.

You may never have considered filing a lawsuit before, but it could be your best option now. The system is set up to hold people accountable when they injure someone due to negligence or carelessness. You just have to take the first step and call an attorney. From there, your case might be settled, or your attorney might advise you to go to trial.

Drivers are finding distraction a tough habit to break

The statistics we mentioned above are from the Travelers Companies’ 2019 Travelers Risk Index. The index was developed after a survey of over 2,000 consumers and executives about distracted driving.

Those drivers admitted engaging in several common but dangerous activities behind the wheel:

  • Texting or typing emails – 44 percent
  • Using social media – 23 percent
  • Taking pictures or recording videos – 22 percent
  • Shopping online – 15 percent

“It’s startling to see that drivers continue to engage in potentially life-threatening habits,” commented a spokesperson from Travelers.

In addition, the surveyed drivers said it would be difficult to stop:

  • 13 percent said it would be very difficult to stop reading texts or emails while driving
  • 11 percent said it would be difficult to stop writing texts or emails while driving
  • 5 percent said it would be very difficult to stop shopping online while driving
  • 19 percent said they would still drive distracted even if it were illegal

A lot of distraction is tolerated for work needs

One reason people may continue to drive distracted is work pressure. The great majority (87 percent) of executives said they expect their workers to be sometimes or frequently available outside of the office. And, 20 percent of survey respondents who said they reply to work-related messages while driving said they do so because of pressure from the boss.

Nearly half of these said they were expected always to be available for work. And, 17 percent said that they get a lot of work done while driving.

According to the National Safety Council, the average economic cost of a fatal accident is over $1 million, and the average economic cost of a disabling injury is over $78,000. If employers pressure workers into driving distracted, they could be held liable for any crashes their workers cause.

Yet only 12 percent of the executives surveyed were concerned about possible liability from an employee’s distracted driving, and 74 percent didn’t consider distracted driving a great concern.

Whether it involves work or personal priorities, there is constant pressure to be connected — and that can be deadly. We all have a role to play in cutting back on distracted driving, and speaking up about it is one thing you can do. Another may be to hold bad drivers accountable through personal injury lawsuits and settlements.