As residents in Massachusetts and across the United States become more dependent on personal electronics, the risk of distracted driving is bringing attention to officials nationally. According to a news report, more than 3,000 people died in car accidents that were related to distracted driving in 2010. The U.S. Transportation Department says drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash if they are texting while driving. These statistics are showing up on roadways and have prompted family members of victims to try to raise awareness.
Websites such as distraction.gov have popped up in order to shine a light on the growing issue. Family members are using nonprofits such as FocusDriven, which concentrates on the dangers of texting and driving, to voice their concerns.
Officials say although cellphones have become a sort of symbol for distracted driving, the issue did not start with personal technology. Distracted driving can come from scolding children in the back seat, tuning your radio or even talking to a passenger while on the road. A recent case of distracted driving had a very tragic end and did not stem from cellphone use. A man, along with his wife and 1-year-old child, was driving his sport utility vehicle and simultaneously searching for a DVD in his car. The distraction caused him to swerve into oncoming traffic, killing his wife. Two people -- a husband and wife -- were also killed in the other vehicle. Two of the three children in that car were paralyzed in the crash.
When people choose not to concentrate on the road while driving, they put all of the people around them at risk. If their negligent behavior leads to personal injury of another, they may be held liable.
Source: MySA, "Distracted driving gets attention," Michelle Koidin Jaffee, Feb. 13, 2012