Timed to the kick-off of its annual “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” campaign each April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a new analysis of the 2021 fatal crash data emphasizing the risks of distracted and other forms of risky driving.
Fatalities in distraction-affected crashes increased by 12% from 3,154 in 2020 to 3,522 in 2021. These statistics are probably underreported because the behavior is difficult to detect during crash investigations. In addition, police reports likely understate its occurrence, according to experts. Make no mistake, distracted driving accidents with injuries and deaths are a serious problem.
What Is a Distracted Driving Crash?
A distraction-affected crash is one where a driver was identified as doing another activity while driving when the crash occurred. That distraction could be texting, drunk driving, talking to passengers or pets, grooming tasks, talking on the phone, or adjusting the GPS.
In a news release about the distracted driving campaign, Sophie Shulman, NHTSA’s deputy administrator, said: “This new data tells us just how much harm distracted driving can cause and why a nationwide campaign is more important today than ever. We need to use all the tools at our disposal to reduce distracted driving and save lives. These include state laws, education and outreach, and the disabling of phones while driving.”
Which Age Group Does the Ad Campaign Target?
NHTSA’s campaign targets drivers aged 18 to 34 who, according to NHTSA data, are more likely to die in distraction-related crashes than any other age group. The campaign, now in its ninth year, is supported by a $5 million national media buy in English and Spanish on television, radio and digital platforms.
In January 2022, the U.S. DOT released the federal government’s comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy, a roadmap to address the national crisis in traffic fatalities and serious injuries. It subsequently launched its Call to Action campaign which builds multiple layers of protection with safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and better post-crash care.
Justice for Car Accident Victims in Chicago
The complexities of dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can be overwhelming. Consider contacting an experienced Chicago car accident attorney immediately to help make the situation less stressful and to ensure a more favorable outcome. An experienced car accident attorney can seek compensation for lost wages, reduced future earnings, present and future medical expenses, impaired quality of life, and pain and suffering.
The Chicago personal injury lawyers at Smith LaCien LLP has extensive experience representing victims of motor vehicle crashes. We offer free, no-obligation consultations to accident victims and their families and handle cases on a contingency basis, meaning we don’t get paid unless we win. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at (224) 243-7070 or contact us using our online form.