Distracted driving a leading cause of North Carolina car accidents

North Carolina car accidents are frequently caused by distracted drivers. But a report by the National Safety Council, which looked at 30 studies of the issue, shows just how dangerous it has become.

Distracted driving now joins speed and alcohol as the leading cause of serious and fatal car accidents nationwide. In 2008, 1.6 million crashes and 645,000 injuries were caused by drivers using cell phones — accounting for 28 percent of all car accidents.

Cell Phones:
Drivers who use cell phones are four-times more likely to be involved in an accident. Eleven percent of all drivers are on the phone at any given point during the day and 81 percent admit to using a cell phone while behind the wheel.

Text Messaging:
Eighteen percent of drivers admit to text messaging while driving. The most likely to offend are teen drivers (36 percent) and Gen Y drivers (39 percent).

Channel 9 reports that authorities have placed even more attention on other types of distracted driving since North Carolina banned text messaging while behind the wheel.

The North Carolina Driver’s Handbook identifies other forms of distracted driving, including changing a CD, smoking, eating, handling pets and looking at things inside or outside the vehicle. The federal government’s distracted driving website, also includes grooming, applying makeup, reading and looking at maps or GPS systems.

MSNBC reports that distracted driving even became a medical issue last week. Dr. Amy Ship, a primary care physician and Harvard professor, wrote an article in the New England Journal of Medicine encouraging doctors to discuss the dangers of distracted driving with patients, just as they would the dangers of obesity, smoking and other risky behavior.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the North Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965.

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