Thanks to the efforts of medical professionals and health advocates, most of us understand and appreciate how our bad habits -- overeating, drinking, smoking, etc. -- can affect our health and the health of those around us. In fact, many of us have chosen to use this valuable information from these experts as motivation to change our behavior.
Interestingly enough, however, there is one bad habit that millions of Americans continue to engage in on a regular basis despite the existence of a rather extensive body of information outlining just how dangerous it is to themselves and others.
The bad habit in question is none other than distracted driving.
If you don't believe it, consider that analysis of 2011 data by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that 69 percent of U.S. drivers between the ages of 18-64 admitted to using their cellphones while driving over the past 30 days, and 31 percent of drivers admitted to reading or sending texts/emails while driving over the past 30 days.
In recognition of the fact that people are continuing to engage in distracted driving (i.e., using a cell phone, texting, eating, accessing in-vehicle technology, etc.) despite knowing that it's inherently dangerous, the CDC decided to take a "scared straight" approach to the otherwise deadly problem.
Specifically, the agency released a report containing some truly sobering statistics just last month:
- 3,267 people died and another 416,000 were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2010, while 3,331 people died and another 387,000 were injured in distracted driving crashes in 2011.
- Every day here in the U.S. nine people die and another 1,060 people are injured in distracted driving crashes; This breaks down into one death every 2.6 hours and 44 injuries every hour.
We can only hope that these figures finally start to drive home the point to motorists that distracted driving isn't a mildly hazardous practice that increases the risk of a fender bender, but rather an extremely dangerous -- and often illegal -- practice that greatly increases the risk of serious and even fatal car crashes.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a car accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of another here in Tennessee, you should strongly consider speaking with an experienced and dedicated attorney.
Source: The Washington Post, "Distracted driving: 9 die, 1,060 hurt each day, CDC says," Ashley Halsey, Feb. 24, 2014