According to government statistics, there were 3,129 fatalities caused by distracted driving in 2014. By the following year, an estimated 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving related accidents, with fatalities increasing to 3,477. Many people think those numbers are seriously under reported. Distracted driving is defined as any activity, including adjusting or fiddling with entertainment or navigation equipment, eating, and talking or texting with a telephone, that diverts a motorist’s attention from the task of safely driving their vehicle. Studies have shown that talking on a cell phone has the same ability to impair a driver’s effectiveness as a .08 percent blood alcohol content!
Stunningly, numerous studies suggest that the use of hands free devices does not add a significant level of safety.
Concerns about roadway safety are enhanced by the increasing popularity of texting, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, and similar social media apps. These concerns in turn, have led to laws outlawing the use of communication devices to email or text while driving in Maryland, DC, and Virginia (among others). Despite these concerns and the resulting laws that were meant to eliminate those distractions, however, Alexandria Injury Attorney Joseph A. Blaszkow continues to see cases resulting from the risky behavior of the selfish – and distracted! – motorist.
As part of a community outreach effort, Mr. Blaszkow is available at to speak to schools, community, civic, and business groups concerning the dangers of distracted driving and how the risks of injury may be reduced. His speaking engagements are free, costing nothing to the audience or organization. He and his office seek only to improve safety and raise awareness of the risks distracted driving brings to the area’s roads.
Maryland State Highway Authority Study on Distracted Driving: http://www.mva.maryland.gov/safety/FFY17DistractedProgramAreaBriefCombinedFinal.pdf
National Safety Council White Paper on Distracted Driving: http://www.nsc.org/DistractedDrivingDocuments/Cognitive-Distraction-White-Paper.pdf
University of Utah Study on Drunk Driving v Distracted Driving: https://archive.unews.utah.edu/news_releases/drivers-on-cell-phones-are-as-bad-as-drunks/