Over 40,000 traffic deaths were reported in 2016, which is the highest number reported in the past ten years. Warmer climate, better road conditions, and cheaper fuel prices have led to an increase in the number of vehicles on the road, which in turn has raised the risk for car accidents. Despite the ongoing information available on the dangers of distracted driving, texting and talking on the phone while driving remain a problem in the United States. Speeding and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol also continue to contribute to the rising number of fatal car accidents.
The National Safety Council (NSC) is pushing for state governors and legislators to pass laws banning cell phone use of any kind while driving, including the use of hands-free devices. According to the NSC, drivers who engage in calling, talking, or texting while driving are four times more likely to become involved in a car accident than those refraining from such behaviors. They also report that hands-free devices create equal distraction because drivers are more focused on their conversation than on the road in front of them.
The NSC recently conducted a survey on driver behaviors that yielded unsettling results. Almost 50% of drivers admitted that they felt comfortable texting while driving, despite hard evidence that serious and fatal crashes occur when drivers engage in this activity. A quarter of those surveyed also reported that they were comfortable speeding on residential roads. Another 16% of drivers reportedly do not wear seatbelts, and an additional 10% said that they had driven under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the past year.
Education, Legislation, and Prevention
To help reverse the trend of rising fatal car accidents across the country, the National Safety Council is using a three-prong approach – education, legislation, and prevention. Through public service announcements, website information, and educational materials, the NSC hopes to motivate drivers to put their phones away, not down while they are behind the wheel, to obey local speed laws, and to refrain from drinking or using drugs before they drive.
Governors, state, and federal lawmakers are being urged to pass laws that put a total ban on cell phone use while driving. The group realizes that this law will be difficult to enforce because of the use of online navigation systems and emergency use of phones, but the laws will hopefully help stop the devastating statistics on fatal car accidents from continuing to rise.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Advocate for Those Injured in Car Accidents
Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP are committed to helping victims injured in car accidents claim the compensation they are entitled to under the law. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a car accident, call us at 1-800-222-USWA (8792), or contact us online at www.galfandberger.com to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania allowing us to serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey.