Texting while driving, or “distracted driving,” continues to make headlines. Last week, the Department of Transportation held a Distracted Driving Summit, as discussed in a previous blog post. Those seriously injured in a car accident caused by distracted driver should contact an experienced car crash injury lawyer for advice.
Also last week, President Obama issued as Executive Order banning texting while driving for all government employees whenever they are:
• On the job
• Driving a federal vehicle
• Using a government-supplied cell phone
Still, the Executive Order does not prohibit federal employees from texting while driving when off the job, in their personal vehicle or when using their personal, non-government-issued cell phone. On the other hand, those living in any of the 18 states that have banned texting while driving, including Illinois, are prohibited from texting while driving in their own vehicles using their own cell phones, Blackberry’s, iPhones or other PDAs, even if off the job.
Automobile crashes caused by distracted drivers using their cell phones or PDA devices have resulted in catastrophic injuries, including permanent disability or death. Whether the accident was caused by a distracted driver or some other form of negligence, t is best to have an experienced Chicago car accident lawyer review your case, especially as new laws directed towards preventing distracted driving are passed.
At the Summit, Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LeHood unveiled new information from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration on accidents involving distracted drivers. According to the new information, of the 37,261 car accident fatalities in 2008, 5,501, or 11 percent, were the result of a distracted driver.
Though “distracted driving” focuses more on those texting or otherwise using cell phones while driving, the Appendicies provide charts of other types of “distracted driving,” including other occupants, drinking or eating and even changing the radio station.
The new information is published in the research note, “An Examination of Driver Distraction as Recorded in NHTSA Databases.” It compiles and summarizes recent data from NHTSA and other DOT modes having to do with distracted-driving crashes, including the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the General Estimates System (GES) the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey and the 100-Car Naturalist Driving Study.
The motor vehicle and transportation injury lawyers of Passen & Powell are available for a free consultation at (312) 527-4500.