Data suggest that drivers in Illinois and elsewhere need to pay more attention to the task of driving to avoid accidents. According to a recent study, simply being "lost in thought" amounted to 62 percent of the distractions listed as a cause of a fatal automobile accident. The report indicates that roughly 10 percent of fatal traffic accidents involve at least one driver who is distracted. This amounts to about 6,500 people killed each year.
Modern technology also plays a part in distracting drivers from the task of safely navigating their vehicles down the highway. Cellphone usage of all types placed second at about 12 percent in the study. This includes both talking on the phone as well as texting and dialing. Using other devices, such as navigation tools, was ranked as being a factor in two percent of fatal accidents as was adjusting the climate control or audio systems.
Other major factors include being distracted by the scenery or people outside the vehicle, which accounted for seven percent of accidents, and conversing with passengers, which was listed in five percent of accidents. More minor causes include consuming foods or liquids, adjusting car controls, smoking, moving pets and even swatting insects. These factors were found in about two percent of the incidents.
No matter what the cause of an accident may be, legal representation is critical in protecting your rights. In Illinois, attorneys may help injured parties understand their rights and options. Attorneys may also help injured parties recover costs of injuries and damages if they are injured as a result of the actions of a distracted driver.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Insurer Analyzes Top 10 Driving Distractions Involved in Fatal Car Crashes," April 4, 2012