Around one in four car accident deaths are the result of distracted driving. Erie Insurance, the insurer based in Pennsylvania, has come out with a report on the top 10 forms of distraction that lead to car accidents, and the results are summarized below.
Accounting for 62% of all distracted driving fatalities was the simple act of becoming “lost in thought.” No special technology or activities are needed, then, to cause most of these accidents. Coming in second was, not surprisingly, phone use (12%). Experts remind drivers that even hands-free phones pose, if not a manual distraction, at least a cognitive distraction.
Third, 7% of fatalities were linked to some object or event outside, such as an accident scene or a billboard, distracting the driver. Other occupants, usually through conversation, can take a driver’s attention from the road as well; they were connected to 5% of the deaths. Then, 2% were the consequence of a driver reaching for a device inside the car.
Eating/drinking (2%), adjusting the radio or climate control (2%), adjusting vehicle-specific devices like the seatbelt (1%), moving objects like pets (1%) and activities related to smoking (1%) rounded out the list. In spite of the diversity of causes, one thread arguably runs through them: complacency, leading drivers to take safety less seriously.
Distracted driving is a clear form of negligence, and when it is behind motor vehicle crashes, it can cause victims to wonder if they can file a third-party insurance claim. Pennsylvania being a no-fault state, only those whose losses exceed a certain threshold for serious injuries can file such a claim. It may be worthwhile for victims to see a lawyer about their options. Legal representation may be beneficial to have during the negotiation of an out-of-court settlement.