By now, everyone in Hartford should know that driving while distracted is dangerous. But many people might not realize the true scope of the crisis.
According to a recent news release from the Connecticut Department of Transportation, distracted driving killed more than 3,100 people nationwide in 2020, the most recent year with available data. That represents 8 percent of all car accident fatalities in the U.S. that year.
A common danger in Connecticut and the rest of the country
Distracted driving is a nationwide epidemic. As you’re reading this, an estimated 660,000 drivers are splitting their focus with their cellphones or some other electronic device. Several of those negligent, distracted drivers will cause serious collisions. In Connecticut alone, there were nearly 5,200 crashes caused by distracted drivers in 2022. While some of those wrecks likely were fairly minor, no doubt thousands of people were seriously injured or killed.
Many people have heard the warnings but choose to distract themselves behind the wheel anyway. They might believe they are the exception to the rule that distracted driving impairs reaction times and information processing. Or that checking their phone “just for a second” doesn’t count. But your car can cover the length of a football field in just a few seconds. By watching and using your hand to operate your phone, you are essentially traveling that distance blindfolded with one hand tied behind your back.
Bad excuses for distracted driving
Responsible Hartford motorists know the safest option is to put their phones down while driving. But you can only control your own driving habits. A distracted driver could easily veer into your lane or run a red light as you pass through the intersection. And you might not be able to avoid getting seriously injured in a nasty crash.
The good news is, Connecticut law recognizes that someone who causes harm in an auto accident is the one who should pay for their victims’ damages. Proving liability can be a complex process, but working with a skilled personal injury lawyer can make the process faster and smoother.