Mark Twain is credited with popularizing the saying that “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” If he were alive today, he might amend the phrase to say, “statistics about the use of smartphones while driving.”
That’s because the statistics are largely dependent on self-reporting by drivers. In 2017, as cited by the Apple-focused website TidBits, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported smartphones were involved in 14 percent of distracted-driving accidents, resulting in 401 crashes and 434 deaths. The NHTSA also said the actual number of accidents and fatalities is certainly much higher because people refuse to admit their own risky driving behavior.
Can New Technology Help?
On the bright side, also in 2017, Apple unveiled a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature to iOS 11, offering technological help through the smartphone’s operating system to drivers who lack the willpower to put away their phones when they get behind the wheel.
The necessity for such assistance is unquestioned. Fatal accidents attributed to smartphone use remained steady at 13 or 14 percent from 2013-2017. Deaths ranged from 387 in 2014 to 453 in both 2015 and 2016.
The latest trends are mixed. According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, the percentage of drivers talking while holding a smartphone to their ear nationwide dropped from 3.3 percent in 2016 to 2.9 percent in 2017, which is considered statistically significant. At the same time, however, the percentage of drivers in the Northeast using their smartphones for other purposes increased from 1.1 percent in 2016 to 2.8 percent.
Only time will tell if “Do Not Disturb” can help reduce smartphone-related crashes, as drivers may be just as tempted to find ways to bypass the safety feature.
Injured by a Smartphone-Using Driver? Call Us
If you’ve been injured in a crash caused by a driver who was distracted by his or her smartphone, you could be seriously injured and unable to provide for your family while facing a lengthy recovery time. You’re also facing legal obstacles, including a driver unwilling to admit he or she caused your injuries – the other driver may even try to blame you. An insurance company may be pressuring you to accept a financial settlement that is far less than you really need because they know you are desperate.
The personal injury lawyers at Vaughan & Vaughan have been fighting for the rights of their clients in Greater Lafayette, Indiana, since 1913. Their car accident lawyers know how the local legal system works. They know how to investigate your case. They know the insurance companies.
Just as important, they will treat you with respect and compassion, standing by your side every step of the way in their pursuit of justice and fair financial compensation. Contact them today for a free case consultation.