Could More Distracted Drivers Cause More Wrongful Deaths?

Posted on Jul 22, 2015 in Wrongful Death

Wrongful death occurs when someone is killed as a direct result of the negligence or carelessness of another individual or entity. The death is considered wrongful because it did not have to happen, but it did so because someone breached a legal duty. Government agencies, corporations and companies, and people can all be held accountable if their actions are harmful and cause a fatality to occur.

One of the leading causes of wrongful deaths is motor vehicle accidents. Drivers who break safety rules or engage in negligent driving behavior can cause someone else to be killed. These motorists who make unsafe choices can be held accountable.

A New Orleans wrongful death lawyer can help to take legal action to recover compensation for family members left behind. Drivers can be sued if they cause a death while speeding, driving drunk, tailgating, or driving aggressively — among other reasons. One of the leading causes of wrongful death, however, has become far more common in the past decade. This leading cause of wrongful death is distracted driving.

More Distracted Drivers Mean More Wrongful Deaths on the Road

A driver who is distracted by an electronic device is going to have a delayed reaction time, and may experience inattention blindness (not seeing what is directly in front of him). The more drivers there are on the roads who are distracted, the greater overall accident risk. To try to prevent this hazard, 46 states have laws in place explicitly banning texting while driving.

Despite these regulations, new studies show motorists are not only texting but also engaging in other extremely high risk behaviors. Vox reported on a survey committed by AT&T that shows how widespread the percentage of distracted drivers has become.

According to Vox, more than 2,067 U.S. drivers who own a smart phone were surveyed by telephone. The drivers were between the ages of 18 and 65. They were asked about the kinds of distracting behaviors they engaged in behind the wheel and the results were extremely troubling:

• 61 percent of drivers said they text as they drive.
• 33 percent said they email while behind the wheel.
• 28 percent browse the Internet as they operate a vehicle.
• 27 percent use Facebook.
• 17 percent snap photographs.
• 14 percent use Twitter (30 percent of the drivers who admitted to using this social network said they do it “all the time.”)
• 14 percent admitted to using Instagram.
• 11 percent use Snapchat.
• 10 percent use some type of video chat.

Most people know the risks of these behaviors. In fact, only 27 percent of people who said they took video while driving believe that they can be safe while doing this. Despite knowing the dangers, people continue to break distracted driving rules in ever-increasing numbers. Addiction is a big reason why, as people seem to have a strong urge to use their phone and stay connected at all times.

There are very real consequences associated with the rise both in the number of distracted drivers and the types of distractions they are encountering. These motorists are likely to cause the deaths of innocent victims since they aren’t paying attention to where they are going. When someone you love is one of those victims, contact a wrongful death lawyer in New Orleans for help as soon as possible to pursue a claim for compensation.

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