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Is distracted driving still a problem?

Despite strict state-by-state laws and a staggering number of awareness campaigns, distracted driving remains a significant problem on roadways across the United States, contributing to a substantial number of traffic accidents, injuries and fatalities each year. Ultimately, the proliferation of digital devices and the persistent multitasking culture continue to exacerbate the issue.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in 2019 alone. These numbers are a stark reminder that the issue persists. 

The role of technology 

Texting and driving is one of the most alarming forms of distraction, as the use of smartphones not only involves manual and visual distractions but also cognitive ones, as drivers divert their attention from the road to their screens.

Yet, while technology is a major culprit in the rise of distracted driving, it also offers several opportunities to combat various forms of distraction. Modern vehicles now come equipped with features designed to reduce distractions, such as hands-free calling, voice commands and automatic emergency braking systems. However, the effectiveness of these technologies in curbing distracted driving is still under scrutiny, as they can sometimes lead to overreliance and a false sense of security.

The consequences

The consequences of collisions can be devastating for victims of distracted driving accidents —ranging from severe physical injuries and psychological trauma to significant financial burdens due to medical bills and lost wages. 

While there are opportunities for recourse for victims of such crashes – suing a distracted driver for the harm they’ve caused, for example – it would be ideal for distracted driving behaviors to become largely a thing of the past. Yet, until motorists are willing to make safety their top priority, the hazards of distracted driving are unlikely to abate very much.