Distracted driver statistics in fatal crashes believed to be off

When there is a car accident in Montana, the causes can be numerous. One of the most prominent causes is distracted drivers. Statistics are recorded and reports are issues as to these crashes. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has released its study on recent fatalities on the road and the causes show interesting results.

For decades, road fatalities had declined relatively steadily. However, in 2015 and 2016, there was an increase of 14.4 percent. In 2016, there were more than 100 deaths per day. There have not been that many in 10 years. The causes of these deaths are causing confusion to regulatory agencies. There has not been a significant increase in the amount of driving people are doing - the total miles rose by only 2.2 percent - and that is leading to confusion as to the other factors contributing to the increase.

Compared to drunk driving and speeding, an issue that is difficult to quantify is texting and driving and other distracting behaviors behind the wheel. Research shows that from 2014 to 2016, iPhone and Android ownership rose by 6 percent to 81 percent. People are also not just using the device to talk. They are texting, using social media, checking the news, sharing photographs and more. The groups that are showing the biggest increase in fatalities are pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists. The rise is being attributed to failure on the part of drivers to keep an eye out for them.

Although the numbers indicate that 2016 had a reduction in distracted driving fatalities, there is a belief that the numbers are higher and the accident investigations regarding many crashes have failed to accurately assess the cause. Since it can be easier to determine whether a person involved in a car accident was under the influence, it is natural to expect those statistics to be higher than a distracted driver, where evidence might be hard to come by.

Regardless of the numbers, those who are in an accident should be cognizant of the possibility that it was due to a distracted driver. This can be important for a legal case. A crash with injuries can cause massive medical costs and long-term issues. A fatality can deprive a family of a loved one, with all the accompanying problems. Having legal assistance in seeking compensation after an auto accident can help with the accident investigation and in pursuing a case.