Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic in this country. It’s getting worse every year. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the NHTSA, in the year 2012, 3,328 people were killed by distracted drivers, 421,000 people were injured by distracted drivers, and those numbers are probably double because the statistics utilized in the NHTSA survey were based on self-reporting. In other words, the people who caused the accident would have had to admit that they were driving while distracted during the accident in responding to the survey.
Most people who have caused accidents while driving distracted would probably lie or neglect to mention it. Those numbers are therefore probably artificially low. The highest incidence of crashes caused by distracted driving occurs in the age group of 15 to 19-year-olds. Our young people are putting themselves and the public at great risk by engaging in distracted driving.
It’s my law firm’s mission to take a stand against what has truly become a national epidemic.
WHAT EXACTLY IS DISTRACTED DRIVING?
Distracted driving can be many different things. Most commonly people think distracted driving means driving while talking on a cell phone or driving while texting. In reality, there are many other activities that one can engage in while driving which would distract the driver and make the driver more prone to crashing.
Examples of distracted driving include emailing and browsing the Internet while driving. People can become distracted by passengers in their car having a conversation or listening to conversations, eating or drinking while driving, reading while driving, using a GPS system while driving, adjusting music, dealing with pets or animals in the car while driving, or putting on makeup while driving. These are just some of the examples of what people do while behind the wheel when they really shouldn’t.
It turns out, according to the NHTSA, that cell phones are involved in 1.6 million car crashes per year, and texting while driving has replaced drunk driving as the leading cause of death among teens in vehicular death incidents. Twenty percent of all teen vehicular deaths involve texting while driving. At any given daylight moment, 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or other electronic devices while they are driving, according to the NHTSA.
WHY HAS THERE BEEN AN INCREASE IN
People simply don’t know how dangerous it is. Think about this: The average text takes about five seconds to send. If you are operating a car at 55 mph, in five seconds you will have traveled 100 yards. That is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded and going at 55 miles an hour. You would never dream of driving a car 100 yards at 55 miles an hour while blindfolded, so why would you think it’s okay to send a text?
Survey results show that 50% of drivers admit that they answer incoming calls while driving and 25% of drivers are willing to place a call while driving. That means that of the 212 million licensed drivers in America, 106 million people admit to answering calls while driving and 53 million people admit to placing calls while driving. Those numbers are probably double because those statistics are based on self-reporting.
Additionally, 50% of drivers that talk on the phone actually believe that their driving is no different while talking on the phone. Remarkably, 5% of drivers even believe they drive safer while talking on the phone. They believe that since they are so focused on having a conversation while driving that naturally that focus would translate over into the act of driving itself, which is complete nonsense because we know that people who talk on the phone while driving are dedicating the majority of their brain cells to the conversation and their driving falls off significantly.
Thirty-three percent of drivers who text or email while driving believe there is absolutely no difference in their driving, 77% of teens are confident in their ability to drive while texting, 55% of teens believe driving while texting is easy or no big deal, and 20% of all drivers admit to browsing the Internet while driving. Imagine that! You are driving on the road and in the car next to you the driver may be purchasing a book on Amazon while operating their car.
The reality is that distracted driving in general makes you three times more likely to crash but texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to crash. Twenty-five percent of teens respond to a text once or more every time they drive; 20% of teens and 10% of adults admit to having extended multi-text conversations while driving. It is no wonder, then, that distracted driving is on the rise in this country due to this widespread ignorance among the population.
HOW IS THE LEVINSON LAW GROUP A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM OF DISTRACTED DRIVING?
We are the civil penalty for distracted and drunk driving. If there were no consequences for impaired and distracted driving, what would deter the offenders from repeating their actions? If you cause harm while driving distracted, there ought to be some sort of consequence. The civil damages you pay for causing harm are the consequences.
In the case of drunk driving, the consequences may also include incarceration. However, my law firm supports the fight against distracted and drunk driving by being part of the solution. We are the economic disincentive for driving while drunk or distracted.
Drunk driving is a deadly national epidemic in this country that never seems to go away. According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the NHTSA, every 120 seconds somebody will be injured in a drunk-driving crash. Everyday 300,000 people drive drunk, yet less than 4,000 will be arrested.
Fifty percent of drivers killed in crashes tested positive for both drugs and alcohol, 28 people a day die as a result of drunk driving in this country, 50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license, on average two in three people will be involved in a drunk driving crash in their lifetime, and in 2013 10,076 people died in drunk-driving crashes. That’s one every 52 minutes.
What Role Does The Levinson Law Group Play In The Face Of This Overwhelming Problem?
My law firm is there to support our clients who are the victims of these horrible life-altering tragedies. Our support can take many forms. For example, we encourage our clients to pursue American Medical Association approved medical treatment for their injuries. We provide a clear plan to obtain relief. We supply a team of compassionate professionals that act as a support system for our clients during the aftermath of a car crash. We are a reliable ally to our clients.
We return phone calls promptly, giving our clients confidence and support. We level the playing field against the insurance companies. Insurance companies are multibillion-dollar corporations that have limitless resources and teams of trained insurance adjusters and lawyers at their disposal to take advantage of claimants and essentially to pay them as little as possible for their injuries. We, through our training and experience, level the playing field by affording our clients the benefit of our knowledge and experience.
We support our clients by handling all the red tape that is involved in one of these crashes. We insulate our clients from having to deal with insurance adjusters, the police, hospitals, and auto body shops by handling all that for them, providing a buffer zone where our clients can simply heal from their injuries in solitude. We are the civil penalty; if wrongdoers suffer no consequences for their actions, nothing will deter them from repeating those actions. We provide support for the victims and their families and act as a deterrent in the community.
Meet the Author
Gordon Levinson is a former insurance defense and personal injury attorney. He has represented some of the largest insurance companies in North America. Over the course of his career, Mr. Levinson has successfully represented more than 3,000 unique clients. Now, he owns and operates the Levinson Law Group, a practice specializing in representing the victims and family members of life-changing tragedies. In 2015, he published an eBook on how to deal with the aftermath of a vehicle collision. Mr. Levinson enjoys spending time with his wife and children. He also spends much of his free time traveling and coaching youth basketball.