Kent Distracted Driving Accidents

Distracted driving significantly contributes to traffic accidents and can be categorized into several types, each impacting driver safety. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving led to 3,522 deaths in the United States in 2021 alone. Distracted driving increases the likelihood of accidents, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. Studies indicate that drivers engaged in activities such as texting are significantly more prone to accidents compared to focused drivers.

Types of Distracted Driving

While much of the focus is on texting while driving, there are many other reasons a person may be distracted.

Visual Distractions

  • Definition: Taking your eyes off the road.
  • Examples: Looking at a GPS, checking makeup, or looking at something inside the car.
  • Impact: Even a momentary glance away from the road can lead to missing important visual cues, increasing the risk of accidents.

Manual Distractions

  • Definition: Taking your hands off the wheel.
  • Examples: Eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, or using a handheld device.
  • Impact: Removing hands from the wheel reduces the driver’s ability to control the vehicle, leading to delayed reactions and potential accidents.

Cognitive Distractions

  • Definition: Taking your mind off driving.
  • Examples: Daydreaming, being lost in thought, or engaging in an intense conversation.
  • Impact: Cognitive distractions can cause drivers to miss traffic signals, react slowly to changes in traffic, and make poor driving decisions.

Auditory Distractions

  • Definition: Being distracted by sounds.
  • Examples: Listening to loud music or engaging in a phone conversation.
  • Impact: Auditory distractions can prevent drivers from hearing important sounds such as sirens, horns, or alerts from other vehicles.

Washington Distracted Driving Facts

  • Common Distractions: The most frequent type of distraction is device use, with other common distractions including eating or drinking, grooming, reading, and interacting with passengers or pets in a way that interferes with driving.
  • Consistency in Distracted Driving Rates: The rate of distracted driving in Washington remained steady at 9.0% in 2023, slightly down from 9.3% in 2022 and 9.4% in 2020.
  • Impact of Distracted Driving: In 2023, over 150 people were killed, and more than 600 were seriously injured in crashes involving distracted driving.
  • Perception of Danger: More than 80% of Washington residents believe that interacting with cell phones while driving is extremely dangerous and support laws that enforce distracted driving prevention.

Impact of Distracted Driving

Accidents caused by distracted driving often result in severe injuries due to delayed reaction times and lack of control over the vehicle.

  • Delayed Reaction Times: Distracted driving significantly delays a driver’s reaction time. When a driver’s attention is divided, their ability to perceive and respond to hazards is compromised. This delay can mean the difference between a near-miss and a serious collision
  • Loss of Vehicle Control: Distracted driving often leads to a lack of control over the vehicle, increasing the risk of severe accidents.
  • Severity of Injuries: Accidents caused by distracted driving often result in more severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, compared to other types of crashes. This is because distracted drivers are typically less prepared to mitigate the impact through evasive actions.

Legal and Financial Consequences

Distracted driving can lead to substantial legal and financial repercussions. Drivers found guilty of distracted driving may face fines, higher insurance premiums, and, in severe cases, criminal charges. Additionally, victims of distracted driving accidents can file lawsuits seeking compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

If you’ve been a victim of a car crash where someone was driving distracted, contact the Kent car accident attorneys at Brumley Law Firm today at (833) 832-2727 or use our online contact form to schedule your free consultation and let us help you pursue the compensation you deserve.