Williams, Walsh & O'Connor, LLC

Why talking, texting and driving can prove fatal

Forget drinking coffee, combing your hair, reading the newspaper and countless other distractions of yesteryear. With as many different tasks as can be completed on smartphones nowdays, they've easly become the number one tool for distractions over anything else.

To make matters worse, research has shown that the smartphone use has the potential to impact several of the user's senses including touch, vision and to monopolize his or her mind. This type of distraction results in delayed user response times equivalent to someone who's impaired from alcohol with a blood alcohol content (BAC) at or above the state's legal limit of 0.08 percent.

In light of this, it shouldn't come as a surprise that data collected in 2013 showed that nearly 3,200 motorists lost their lives and almost 425,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving.

Even with the technological advancements that have been passed since that time, including such things as hands-free calling and texting, and zero-tolerance cellphone laws, distracted driving crash rates remain high. Even in instances in which either partial or full bans on cellphone use while driving exist, many still use them because citations are not enough of a deterrent.

Among the different age brackets, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) suggests that the one with the highest distracted driving rate of all drivers is teens. It's believed that 22 percent of all fatal crashes among this group can be attributed to distracted driving.

The situation doesn't look that much better for those belonging to the 30 to 39-year-old age group. Some 24 percent of fatal crashes they're involved in are later determined to have been caused in part by their own distracted driving.

If your loved one was killed in a car crash while a suspected distracted driver was at the wheel, then a New Haven, Connecticut, motor vehicle attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your case.

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