Did you know that multitasking is a myth and the brain can’t actually perform two tasks at once?
Did you know that drivers using cell phones have slower reaction times than drivers who are over the legal intoxication limit?
Did you know that, at any given time, 9 percent of all drivers are using their cell phones?
Knowing these statistics, is it any wonder then that 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phone use at the time of the wreck?
Most people understand that distracted driving is a problem, even students. Nevertheless, Arizona is 1 of only 2 states that doesn’t ban texting for all drivers (though the state does prohibit certain drivers from using cell phones and several cities have enacted their own local laws).
Let’s take a closer look at some distracted driving statistics in Arizona, the measures that have been taken to prevent distracted driving, and what to do if you’re hit by a distracted driver in the Grand Canyon State.
Each day in the United States, approximately 9 people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver.
In Arizona, approximately 23.63% of all crashes involve a distracted driver. Here’s how that data breaks down:
|Causes of Car Crashes in Arizona (2017)|
|Type of Distraction||Total||Percent of Total||In Fatal Crashes||Percent of Fatal|
|Talking on Hands Free Device||199||0.08%||1||0.07%|
|Talking on Handheld Device||454||0.18%||3||0.21%|
|Other Activity with an Electronic Device||1,416||0.57%||3||0.21%|
|Manually Operating an Electronic Device||846||0.34%||1||0.07%|
|Other Inside the Vehicle (eating, drinking, etc.)||3,109||1.25%||8||0.56%|
|Outside the Vehicle||2,712||1.09%||10||0.70%|
|Distracted Unknown Reason||13||0.01%||0||0.00%|
|Source: Arizona Department of Transportation|
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identifies three main types of distractions:
Of course, not all driving distractions are caused by cell phone use. Other common sources of distraction include:
Arizona doesn’t have any statewide restrictions on texting or cell phone use, with two exceptions:
Drivers who text in Arizona can technically be cited under the state’s law for driving at a speed that is not “reasonable and prudent,” but few—if any—officers enforce this law.
Several cities and counties (including Tucson, Pima County, Glendale, San Luis, Parker and Oro Valley) have enacted local laws banning the use of handheld wireless devices, while others have enacted laws prohibiting texting and driving (Phoenix and Flagstaff).
The chances of a statewide law addressing distracted driving have increased significantly in 2019, in the wake of Salt River police officer Clayton Townsend's death in a crash caused by a driver who admitted to texting at the time of the accident. State Senator Kate Brophy McGee introduced a handheld cell phone ban for all drivers in response, and a number of similar measures are pending in the House.
When one driver (the “plaintiff”) sues another driver (the “defendant”) for damages caused by a car accident, the plaintiff must generally show that the defendant’s carelessness caused the accident. In the legal world, this carelessness is called “negligence.” In many cases, negligence can be proven by showing that the other driver was using their cell phone immediately before the accident.
Distracted driving can cause a variety of different injuries:
If you get hit by a distracted driver, first make sure you’re out of harm’s way and then take the following steps:
Oftentimes, you won’t know if the other driver in your accident was distracted or not. An experienced lawyer can develop this evidence by obtaining cell phone records, video evidence, and talking to witnesses. Try our free Arizona personal injury law firm directory to find an attorney in your area who is knowledgeable about distracted driving car accidents.