NHTSA Releases Driver Electronic Device Use Data: Illustrating Increased Risks for Accidents in Chicago, Nation

As technology increases and cell phones and other hand-held devices become more capable and convenient, drivers will continue to face increased risks of distraction-related car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere if we’re not careful. Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a new report to calculate the exact number of accidents that reported hand-held device use as a main cause. This is a new measure that was introduced for the 2010 statistics — which the government released this week. The new Driver Electronic Use Report illustrates the increase in these accidents from 2009 to 2010.
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Our Chicago personal injury attorneys understand that the number of drivers who talk on cell phones while driving remained just about the same. But the number of texting and hand-held device-using drivers increased. The report also states that nearly 10 percent of all drivers are using some type of phone, either hand-held or hands-free, at any given time.

Parents are urged to talk with their teen drivers about the dangers that these activities present to young drivers, as well as other motorists on the road. Drivers age 16- to 24-years-old made up the age group that was most likely to be engaging in one of these activities behind the wheel. Don’t worry about grandma and grandpa though, they’ve got lower rates of use than any other age group of driver.

Some drivers think that headsets are better for talking on the phone while driving. This activity also increased among most categories of drivers in 2010. Once again, the largest increase was experienced by drivers who were 16- to 24-years-old.

Text-messaging is on the rise and more and more drivers are being observed engaging in the dangerous behavior behind the wheel. This was also another category that experienced an increase among drivers across the board, including, drivers traveling on weekday, drivers in the Midwest, drivers in the Northeast, drivers in the West, female drivers, drivers of passenger cars and white drivers. Surprise, this was also a driving habit that increased the most among drivers who were 16- to 24-years-old.

The study researched nearly 50,000 vehicles to draw these conclusions, so you can be assured that these 50,000 random drivers were displaying the driving habits of most Americans. The NHTSA reports that there were nearly 3,100 people killed in 2010 because of distraction-related traffic accidents throughout the country. These accidents are completely preventable with a little bit of driver self-discipline.

As the holiday season draws near and traffic increases in Chicago and throughout the rest of the state, drivers are asked to be cautious behind the wheel, to curb distractions and to place their full attention on the roadways. Let’s stop the increasing trend of driver distractions and help to make our roadways a safer place for everyone.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a traffic collision with a distracted driver, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.

More Blog Entries:

NHTSA Releases New 2010 Data for Car Accidents in Illinois and Elsewhere, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 9, 2011
MADD Teams Up With NFL to Reduce Risks of Teen Car Accidents in Chicago and Elsewhere, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, December 7, 2011