Have you ever been watching a television show and received a text message? You look down, retrieve the message, and then turn your eyes back to your show, only to find you’ve missed a critical point in the story. A lot can happen in a few seconds. That’s precisely why distracted driving is so dangerous.
Despite the lack of a texting-and-driving ban for most motorists in Mississippi, you’re a safe driver and know better than to use your phone when you’re in the driver’s seat. Regrettably, you cannot say the same for many other drivers. As long as motorists choose not to ignore distractions while driving, there will always be the risk of an accident.
What did I miss?
Assuming a vehicle is traveling at 55 mph, looking down at a phone or other device for as little as five seconds (the average time spent looking at a phone while texting) means moving the length of a football field without looking out the windshield. No one in their right mind would close their eyes that long, but many people erroneously think they can do two things at once.
In fact, the percentage of drivers observed using hand-held devices increased nationwide between 2013 and 2015 by half a percent to 2.2. Young, inexperienced drivers, in particular, are the most frequently distracted motorists.
The impact of distracted driving accidents
In 2014, 3,179 people died in distracted driving accidents in the United States. An additional 431,000 suffered injuries in crashes where a distracted driver was a factor. Many serious injuries can occur in a distracted driving accident including:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
Any one of these injuries can lead to an extended hospital stay and may require surgeries, rehabilitative therapy, or possibly homecare if the injury causes lasting or permanent damage. Emotional and behavioral issues are also possible after a serious accident.
Recovering from injuries suffered in an accident with a distracted driver may keep you from working for a time. The financial impact on a person or a family can be great. It is, unfortunately, during this time of stress and suffering that you will have to make decisions about insurance settlements and legal matters. The timing couldn’t be less ideal.
To alleviate some of the burden, it might be a good idea to seek the help of a local personal injury attorney. A lawyer with experience in the field and an understanding of the community and its people will fight for compensation on your behalf.