Two Forms of Distracted Driving: Same Deadly Result

Distracted driving has become an epidemic in Wisconsin.  In fact, my own car was just broadsided last week in our law firm parking garage when a driver was not paying attention and pulled forward directly into the rear door of my car.

I was one of the lucky ones.  I was not injured. However, we are seeing an increase in serious injuries and fatal accidents due to an alarming increase in distracted driving.  The distractions available to drivers today did not exist years ago.  This article will touch upon two forms of distracted driving leading to a dramatic increase in serious car and truck accidents in Wisconsin.

Distracted Driving smart phones

Mixing Smart Phones and Driving –  A Deadly Combination

Traffic fatalities are sharply rising.  Figures recently released show that in 2022 the milage death rate rose 22 percent.

It is difficult to accurately track exactly how many serious car accidents are caused by cell phone usage.  According to a spokesperson for the National Transportation Safety Board, the number of fatal and serious car accidents caused by distracted driving is much higher than most people think.  In fact, the National Transportation Safety Board describes cell phone usage as an “epidemic.”  None of these accidents have to happen. They happen because someone makes a deliberate choice to pick up a smart phone and start using it while at the same time operating a car or truck, often at freeway speeds.

In 2021 the National Distracted Driving Coalition was formed to help make drivers and smart phone manufacturers aware of this epidemic.  Artificial intelligence is beginning to be used to better track the number of fatalities and serious injuries caused by distracted driving from cell phone usage.  Artificial intelligence systems are used to look in to the windshields of cars as they pass in order to learn whether the driver was using his/her cell phone.  The identity of drivers is said to be hidden and the information obtained is not used to issue traffic citations.  Instead, the technology is said to be used to help determine how widespread cell phone usage is while driving.  One survey showed the following:

  • Seventy-seven percent (77%) of the respondents stated they used their phone in some capacity while driving;
  • Seventy-four percent (74%) of the respondents used the maps on their cell phones;
  • Fifty-six percent (56%) of the respondents stated they read a text or email while driving;
  • Twenty-seven percent (27%) of the respondents used social media;
  • Nineteen percent (19%) of the respondents confessed to shopping online while driving.

Do you part.  Put down your cell phone while driving.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, please contact us at 414-273-7400 or use our confidential Contact Form.  We have helped many victims of distracted driving recover the compensation they deserve and our Wisconsin car accident team can do the same for you.

Distracted Driving Car Touch Screens

Modern Car Touch Screens Result in Distracted Driving

Many car manufacturers have replaced traditional physical dashboard buttons with modern touch screen displays.  While this creates a wow factor in the new car showroom, it can create a deadly distraction once behind the wheel.

Once simple dials and buttons have given way to touch screens resembling modern laptops or tablets.  Drivers now control their touch screens while driving to obtain the latest news, weather, maps and music playlists.  This convenience all comes at a cost.  Too often that cost is a distracted driver operating a car or truck at a high rate of speed.  At 60 m.p.h., a car travels 88 feet per second.  If that same driver is distracted by the touch screen on his/her car for even a few seconds, that driver has traveled hundreds of feet completely blind to the road and all objects in front of him/her.

Testing was performed comparing a 2005 Volvo with traditional switches and dials to 11 new vehicles with touch screen controls.  Drivers of all of the newer vehicles with touch screen controls took 3 – 4 times longer to perform tasks including activating heated seats, switching the radio station, resetting the trip computer and dimming the instrument lighting compared to performing those same tasks in the 2005 Volvo with traditional controls.  The testing concluded that traditional switches and dials are safer because drivers take their eyes off the road for less time than those drivers using touch screens.  The testing concluded that there was little difference between taking your eyes off the roadway to look at your phone and taking your eyes off the roadway to operate a car’s touch screen.

We work with people injured by distracted drivers and help to turn their life around by recovering the full amount of compensation they deserve.  This includes compensation for past medical expenses, future medical expenses, past pain and suffering, future pain and suffering, past wage loss, future wage loss and other items of compensation.

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, please call us at 414-273-7400 or use our confidential contact form.  We would love to help you obtain the compensation you deserve from being injured by a distracted driver.