Regardless of how many vehicles are involved in an accident, there is strong data that leads to the conclusion that 80% of the accidents and 65% of the near-crashes result from some form of driver inattention occurring within three (3) seconds of the crash. Drowsiness and cell phone use were the predominant distractions.
It is estimated that drowsiness is grossly underreported as a cause of crashes and near-crashes by a factor of nearly four because it tends to evade accurate reporting. With regard to cell phone use, the acts of dialing and talking appear to be comparably responsible for car accidents although the act of dialing is likely more distracting than talking. The statistics tend to equalize because dialing is accomplished in a shorter time than the act of speaking and thus the relative risk lessens.
Other interesting data revealed that the act of retrieving an object within the vehicle increased the risk of an accident by 9-fold while looking at an external object increased the risk by a factor of 3.7, applying makeup or reading made driving three times as dangerous and using a handheld cell phone increased the risk a mere 1.3 fold.
The type of conduct summarized here further complicates the task of driving, something made increasingly complex because of the congestion on our roadways, roadside distractions, the speed at which vehicles travel, and complicated interior configurations. In any case, such types of distracting conduct should be brought to the attention of all investigating police officers and your attorneys. Certainly, the personal injury lawyers at Casper & de Toledo would consider such information to be important.
The results of this study, published in April 2006, can be found at the web site of the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration web site:
At the Casper & de Toledo law firm, we can help determine the cause(s) of your accident and assist with understanding the complexities of liability and risk. Contact us for assistance with a possible claim.