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Home ► Let’s End Distracted Driving – The TorHoerman Law Advocacy Campaign
Distracted Driving has continued to be a growing problem on U.S. roadways. TorHoerman Law has recognized the threat of this growing epidemic. We have made it our mission to get the word out to help end distracted driving and make the roadways safer for everyone.
One out of every four car accidents is caused by texting and driving, and approximately 3,000 people a year die in those accidents. Statistics show that it isn’t just teenagers that are texting and driving; adults are texting and driving as much, or more than teens. A recent study conducted by the Journal of Transport & Health found that adults are more likely to engage in distracted driving, particularly texting and driving due to pressure from work. This doesn’t let teens off the hook as research shows that 60% of teen crashes are caused by distracted driving. The data does show though that texting and driving is not an issue solely for teenagers.
Contrary to popular belief, distracted driving is not limited to driving while using your cell phone. In fact, distracted driving is defined as any activity that diverts attention from driving.
This included, but is not limited to:
There are 3 specific types of distracted driving:
In 2015 alone, distracted driving resulted in 391,000 injuries and claimed the lives of 3,477 passengers in the United States alone. Fatalities in 2015 were up from 2013, where 3,154 lives were lost because of distracted driving, which is a 10% increase from 2012 fatalities.
One of the most common types of distracted driving among all demographic groups is talking on a cell-phone while driving. Research shows that talking on the phone quadruples your risk of motor vehicle accidents.
Though almost everyone agrees that driving while using a cellphone is unacceptable, many drivers still openly admit that they practice these unsafe behaviors.
“The results of a random survey of drivers showed that while 90% agree that cell-phone use while driving is “unacceptable”, 35% of the same group admitted to using a cell-phone to text or call while driving.”
“During daylight hours, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving.”
Texting is the most prominent form of dangerous distracted driving, especially among young adults age 16-24. A simple one-word text can take your eyes off the road for seconds.
In fact: At 55 mph, the average text takes your eyes off the road long enough to cover the length of an entire football field.
Research also shows that texting and driving double your risk of an accident as compared to driving under the influence.
Driving is a privilege that required the full extent of your attention. When you choose to drive while distracted you are not just putting yourself at risk, you are putting the lives of everyone else on the road at risk as well.
Your state government mandates the laws for distracted driving. While the rules differ by state, many states are making an effort to stop distracted drivers by enforcing stricter laws and issuing heavier fines to lawbreakers. You can learn more about IL and MO distracted driving laws here
In Illinois, all drivers are banned from both texting and talking on the phone while driving. It is legal, however, for drivers 19 and older to use a hands-free device while driving. Despite the law, people are continuing to engage in distracted driving. In a tragic accident, a ten-year-old girl was killed in an accident near Champaign, IL due to distracted driving. Learn more about the distracted driving laws in Illinois – http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/traffic_safety/distracted.html.
If you’re 21 and over, texting and driving in Missouri is legal. That doesn’t make it acceptable. Accidents are still occurring. Why then do Missouri’s texting and driving ban only apply to those under 21 years of age? Now, more than ever, it is important to bring attention to Missouri’s nonsensical law and bring attention to the fact that more needs to be done by all of us. Missouri law 304.820.1 prohibits anyone 21 years of age or under from texting and driving. It provides limited circumstances, such as to report illegal activity, where those under 21 can text and drive. It doesn’t go far enough, but it also doesn’t mean we can’t all take additional steps to prohibit distracted driving. Learn more about Missouri’s distracted driving laws – https://www.dmv.com/mo/missouri/distracted-driving-laws.
Regardless of what the laws are, we should all pledge to do better. AT&T has created the “It Can Wait” campaign. The campaign is a powerful reminder that we should all avoid distracted driving because our loved ones care about us. Also, other people’s loved ones care about them, and by driving distracted we place their lives at risk. As lawyers we, unfortunately, get to see all too often the results of distracted driving: serious injuries, death, lawsuits, trials, and financial hardship.
Assuming texting distracts you for only five seconds and you are driving 55 mph, then you will drive 100 yards without paying attention. Most texts and emails take much longer to draft than five seconds. We are all too familiar with that compulsion to check our phones, especially while driving. The ding of an email when you are waiting for an important work e-mail. The tone from a text you know is from your mom. The Facebook notification indicating you have been tagged in a photo. All of these create an urge to know immediately what is going on. I know for me, the temptation is often overwhelming, but I also know how dangerous it is to check. It is hard to do the right thing at that moment.
Thus, we should take steps before temptation strikes to eliminate our ability to be tempted. There are many apps available that help prevents distracted driving. Everyone should be using one of these apps if nothing else to serve as a reminder of how dangerous distracted driving is. Yes, your teen can probably disable it if they choose. Yes, you can probably shut it down to check that ever important work e-mail. But each time you contemplate doing so it is a reminder that the text or e-mail isn’t worth your life. Below is a list of apps designed to prevent distracted driving:
In addition to downloading apps that can help eliminate the inclination to check your phone, there are other ways to help end distracted driving.
As an effort to help promote our campaign to end distracted driving, our car accident lawyers at TorHoerman Law conduct presentations for local community organizations and schools, spreading the word about the dangers of distracted driving. If you are interested in having a member of TorHoerman Law present for your school, workplace or community group contact us.
Contact us by phone at 1-888-508-6752 or email us below.
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The contents of this webpage have been prepared by TorHoerman Law, LLC for informational purposes only. None of this information is intended as either legal or medical advice or opinions. No attorney/client relationship is established with use of this website. Sending or receiving information through this site, posting to our blogs/news site does not establish an attorney/client relationship. An attorney/client relationship with TorHoerman Law is established only by an express and written agreement by TorHoerman Law to represent you. Our attorneys make a case-by-case assessment of any claims and results may vary depending on the facts concerning any case. The attorneys at TorHoerman Law are licensed to practice in Illinois, Missouri, and California. In some circumstances, cases may be sent to other qualified lawyers. In those circumstances, TorHoerman Law maintains joint responsibility.
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