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Distracted drivers endanger other road users and passengers, despite passenger complaints

Distracted driving

These days, it takes a significant amount of will power for drivers to avoid picking up their cellphones. Digital handheld devices offer a wide range of convenience — from making phone calls to browsing social media. Responsible drivers can wait until they get to their destinations before checking their notifications. Other drivers can't seem to resist the urge, despite complaints from passengers.

LeithCars.com, an online car dealership, recently conducted a survey of more than 1,000 passengers and asked them about the behaviors they witnessed from drivers. Around 22.5% of survey participants were passengers in distracted driving crashes. The survey found that 97.4% of passengers confronted drivers for being distracted. About 2.6% didn't. Among those who did:

  • 67% confronted a friend
  • 60.8% confronted a family member
  • 54.1% confronted a significant other
  • 15.2% confronted a co-worker
  • Only 9.4% confronted a rideshare or taxi driver

Types of distracted driving cited by passengers

Passengers in the survey confronted their drivers for a variety of distractions. Some involved the use of cellphones. For example, passengers confronted drivers for:

  • Texting and driving - 52%
  • Browsing the internet - 33.3%
  • Taking pictures or videos - 17.2%

Not all forms of distracted driving involved cellphones. For example, passengers confronted drivers for:

  • Turning around or reaching for an item in the car - 28.8%
  • Daydreaming or staring out the window - 22.9%
  • Adjusting stereo settings - 15.1%
  • Steering with their knees or legs - 14.7%
  • Helping children or pets - 14.2%
  • Grooming or taking care of personal hygiene - 13.6%
  • Drinking alcohol - 12.9%
  • Falling asleep - 11.8%
  • Smoking marijuana - 8.3%
  • Eating while driving - 6.5%
  • Reading - 5.2%
  • Changing clothes or shoes - 4.4%
  • Crying - 3.2%

The types of distraction perceived to be the most dangerous were drinking alcohol, falling asleep, browsing the internet, and texting. The survey also found that rideshare or taxi drivers were the most likely to get defensive when confronted about driving distracted. Passengers confronted them the least. Friends and family members were the least likely to get defensive, yet they were the most likely to be confronted.

How our lawyers hold distracted drivers accountable

Pennsylvania has a texting and driving ban in place for all drivers. Drivers who violate this law can be pulled over and fined $50, plus pay court costs and other fees. Unfortunately, the law doesn't stop drivers from texting and driving. Moreover, the law in Pennsylvania doesn't apply to other forms of distracted driving. The problem is so widespread that it's difficult to measure.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were approximately 2,841 distracted driving fatalities and 400,000 injuries in the U.S. during 2018. These only accounted for confirmed distracted driving deaths. The at-fault driver likely admitted to driving distracted or left behind physical evidence. That means there are likely far more distracted driving deaths and injuries that aren't being accounted for. Additionally, you could be sharing the road with a distracted driver at any given time.

It only takes a split second of distraction to change someone's life forever. That's why the legal team at Villari, Brandes & Giannone, P.C. are committed to holding distracted drivers accountable when they cause someone's injury or death. When you hire our law firm, you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. We'll work tirelessly to gather evidence to support your claim and fight for a fair settlement on your behalf. Additionally, we deal directly with insurance companies so you don't have to.

Whether you're a motorist or passenger who was injured in a crash, our attorneys would be glad to discuss your legal options during a free case consultation. Our law offices are located in Philadelphia and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, as well as Marlton, New Jersey. Contact us online or call us to find out how we can help you.

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