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Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys-Lawyers-Law Firm

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The attorneys in our injury law firm understand the effects that "distracted driving" can have in causing an auto accident as well as the effect that proving "distracted driving" can have on a law suit for personal injuries or wrongful death.  Numerous government studies and independent research have confirmed that drivers who are texting, talking on a cell phone, emailing, or practicing other forms of distracted driving render drivers more dangerous than drunk drivers with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit.  If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, disabled, or killed by a distracted driver, our lawyers may be able to help you secure financial compensation.  Call our Kansas City metro area law firm at 913-764-5010 today to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney.

Our Kansas City metro area law firm's personal injury attorneys can recover compensation for past, present, and future medical bills, lost wages, disability, pain, suffering, and other negative consequences of auto accidents involving distracted drivers:

The staff and lawyers in our personal injury and wrongful death law officer have experience collecting damages in distracted driving auto accident cases in Kansas, Missouri, and Federal Courts:

  • the injured person's medical bills caused by the auto crash;
  • the income that the injured person lost because of an interruption in work due to the inability to perform duties or because the injured person was receiving medical treatment;
  • future income loss if the injury caused any disability, especially if the disability hampers the person's ability to perform work;
  • costs of rehabilitation (both physical and occupational) resulting from the auto accident;
  • cost of disfigurement or scarring, including medical expenses to reverse or minimize the effects of the crash injuries, any embarassment that will be endured due to scarring or disfigurement;
  • in fatal injuries, the medical, funeral and burial costs, plus the loss of the deceased's financial contribution to the family, and emotional pain and suffering.

Learn more about distracted drivers in Missouri, Kansas, and elsewhere:

Driver distraction could present a serious and potentially deadly danger. In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. Distracted driving comes in various forms, such as cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, talking with passengers, as well as using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices.

There are other less obvious forms of distractions including daydreaming or dealing with strong emotions.

While these numbers are significant, they may not state the true size of the problem, since the identification of distraction and its role in a crash can be very difficult to determine using only police-reported data. New data sources are available to provide more details on the type and presence of driver distraction.

 

Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:

  • 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving. (NHTSA).
  • Of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone as a distraction (18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes). (NHTSA)
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in U.S. roadways and an estimated additional 448,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes that were reported to have involved distracted driving. (FARS and GES)
  • The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group – 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving. (NHTSA)
  • Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
  • Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)

Police-reported data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the National Automotive Sampling show that:

  • In 2009, there were 30,797 fatal crashes in the United States, which involved 45,230 drivers. In those crashes 33,808 people died.
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction (16% of total fatalities).
  • The proportion of fatalities reportedly associated with driver distraction increased from 10 percent in 2005 to 16 percent in 2009. During that time, fatal crashes with reported driver distraction also increased from 10 percent to 16 percent.
  • The portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.
  • The under-20 age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes (16%). The age group with the next greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the 20- to-29-year-old age group – 13 percent of all 20-to-29-year-old drivers in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted.
  • Of those drivers reportedly distracted during a fatal crash, the 30-to-39-year-old drivers were the group with the greatest proportion distracted by cell phones. Cell phone distraction was reported for 24 percent of the 30-to-39-year-old distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
  • Light-truck drivers and motorcyclists had the greatest percentage of total drivers reported as distracted at the time of the fatal crash (12% each). Bus drivers had the lowest percentage (6%) of total drivers involved in fatal crashes that were reported as distraction-related.
  • An estimated 20 percent of 1,517,000 injury crashes were reported to have involved distracted driving in 2009.

Missouri

  • Ban on texting for novice drivers (Primary law)

Note: Missouri defines novice drivers as drivers age 21 and under

 

Kansas

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Kansas defines novice drivers as all drivers with a learner’s permit or intermediate license.

Nebraska

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Nebraska defines novice drivers as those under the age of 18 with a learner’s permit or provisional license

 Driver Holding Phones to Their Ears While Driving
The percentage of drivers holding cell phones to their ears
while driving decreased to 5 percent in 2009. This rate translates
into 672,000 vehicles driven by people using hand-held
cell phones at a typical daylight moment in 2009. It also
translates into an estimated 9 percent of the vehicles whose
drivers were using some type of phone (hand-held or handsfree)
in a typical daylight moment in 2009. Please refer to the
section “Estimating Drivers on Road and Hands-Free Cell
Phone Users” for more details on how these two estimates
were obtained.
The decline in hand-held cell phone use in 2009 occurred in
a number of driver categories, including male drivers, blackdrivers, drivers of other races than black or white, drivers in
the west, drivers on expressway exit ramps, drivers traveling
through clear weather conditions, drivers of passenger
cars, drivers on weekdays (especially during weekday rush
hours), and drivers driving alone. Table 1 shows the percentages
of drivers holding phones to their ears in 2008 and 2009
by major characteristics of drivers. The significant decrease
of hand-held cell phone use in the west in 2009 as compared
to 2008 is shown in Figure 2.

Driver Speaking With Visible Headsets on
While Driving
Table 2 shows the percentages of drivers speaking with visible
headsets on while driving in 2008 and 2009 by major
characteristics of drivers.
The percentage of drivers speaking with visible headsets on
while driving stood at 0.6 percent in 2009. Table 2 also shows
that 2009 continued the pattern that drivers driving alone
were more likely to use cell phones with headsets than those
driving with passengers.

 

The percentage of drivers speaking with visible headsets
on while driving in the urban areas decreased significantly
from 1.1 percent in 2008 to 0.5 percent in 2009.
Driver Visibly Manipulating Hand-Held Devices
While Driving
The percentage of drivers who were text-messaging or visibly
manipulating other hand-held devices while driving
decreased significantly from 1.0 percent in 2008 to 0.6 percent
in 2009 as shown in Table 3. Table 3 presents the percentages
of drivers visibly manipulating hand-held devices in 2008
and 2009 by major characteristics of drivers.
The decline in drivers visibly manipulating hand-held
devices in 2009 occurred in a number of driver categories,
including female drivers, white drivers, drivers of other races
than black or white, drivers on other surface streets, drivers in
the west, drivers traveling through clear weather conditions,
drivers in urban areas, drivers of passenger cars, drivers traveling
during weekday non-rush hours, and drivers driving
with at least one passenger. The significant decrease in percentages
of drivers visibly manipulating hand-held devices
in the west in 2009 as compared to 2008 is shown in Figure 4.
It also shows that the decline in hand-held device manipulation
for drivers did not happen uniformly in all regions.
Figure 5 shows that since 2007, the percentages of drivers
visibly manipulating hand-held devices while driving have
been significantly higher among drivers 16 to 24 than those
of other age groups.
NOPUS is the only nationwide probability-based observational
survey of driver electronic device use in the United
States. The survey observes usage as it actually occurs at
randomly selected roadway sites and thus provides the best
tracking of the extent to which people in the United States
use cell phones and other electronic devices while driving.
The survey data is collected by trained data collectors at
probabilistically sampled intersections controlled by stop
signs or stoplights, where data collectors observe, from the
roadside, drivers and other occupants of passenger vehicles
having no commercial or government markings. Data is collected
between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Only stopped vehicles are
observed to allow time to collect a variety of information
required by the survey, including subjective assessments of
occupants’ age and race. Observers collect data on the driver,
right-front passenger, and up to two passengers in the second
row of seats. Observers do not interview occupants, so that
NOPUS can capture the untainted behavior of occupants.
The 2009 NOPUS data was collected between June 1 and June
20, 2009, while the 2008 data was collected between June 2
and June 22, 2008.
Statistically significant changes in the use of hand-held
phones, headset use, and manipulation of hand-held devices
between 2008 and 2009 are shown, respectively, in Table 1,
Table 2, and Table 3 by having a result that is 90 percent or
greater in column 7. Statistical confidences that hand-held
cell phone use, headset use, or the manipulation of hand-held

 

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