Last month, it was reported that the number of traffic fatalities had increased 13.5 percent in the first three months of the year over the first three months of last year. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA) both suggested that warmer-than average winter weather may have contributed to more people driving, increasing the number of accidents.
However, data from the NHTSA during the same time period also showed that distracted driving became more of a factor in accidents during that time, and a new study from Ohio State University reported on the dangers of texting while driving.
In the last several years, the number of accidents caused by distracted driving has risen significantly. According to the NHTSA, distracted driving rose from being a factor in only 10 percent of crashes in 2005 to 18 percent in 2010.
Some officials believe that distracted driving and texting may be a bigger factor in the rise in traffic fatalities than the warmer weather encouraging more people to be on the roads. Preliminary data from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) showed that there was only a 1.4 percent increase in miles traveled for the first three months of 2012.
Research shows that not only are more people getting in wrecks as a result of distracted driving, but that many people are overconfident in their abilities to multitask while driving, perhaps contributing to the increase in accidents.
"What is surprising is that our results also suggest that people may perceive that texting is not more dangerous - they may think they can do a good job at two visual tasks at one time," said Zheng Wang, a lead author of the study at Ohio State University.
North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers
If you have been injured in an accident - whether it was the result of distracted driving or not - you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin at 1-866-900-7078 to get a free evaluation of your case and find out if one of our North Carolina personal injury lawyers may be able to help you!