State data show texting tickets increased 205 percent increase across the state from 2012 to 2016. Tickets for talking on cell phones fell 47 percent statewide during that period.
Locally there were similar results. In 2012, police wrote 6,844 cell phone tickets and 1,222 for texting violations in the Capital Region. Four years later, cell phone tickets fell to 4,954, a 27 percent decrease, while texting tickets jumped to 2,878, up 135 percent.
Types of Driver Distractions
Driver distractions can be divided into three categories:
- Visual distractions
- Manual distractions
- Cognitive distractions
Some distractions fall under all three categories. Texting is one of the most dangerous kinds of distractions because it requires drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off of the wheel, and their minds off of driving. However, texting is not the only type of distracting behavior that causes accidents, as the following distractions have also caused a substantial number of accidents:
- Putting on make-up while driving
- Tending to children in the back seat
- Eating or drinking
- Adjusting in-vehicle technologies, such as a GPS or a radio
- Falling asleep at the wheel
Injuries Caused by Distracted Driving
Distracted driving tends to result in especially traumatic injuries, which is in large part due to the fact that distracted drivers are often unaware of an impending collision until the very last moment. This gives them little to no time to slow down or swerve out of the way. For this reason, accidents caused by distracted driving tend to occur at high speeds, which makes for much more severe impacts and serious injuries. Fortunately, when injured parties can demonstrate that another person’s negligence was the cause of their accident, they will be eligible to collect compensation for the past and future medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.