In the 24-hour news cycle, it becomes easy to focus on fatal accident statistics.
The fact remains, however, that there are far more distracted driving accidents in Alabama resulting in injuries/property damage than there are fatal distracted driving incidents. While accidents resulting in fatalities grab the headlines, understanding the full scope of the harms caused by Alabama’s distracted driving is only possible by looking at distracted driving accidents on a holistic and data-driven level.
2014 Distracted Driving Statistics in Alabama
In 2014, there were a total of 820 auto accident fatalities in Alabama, and there were 27,665 investigated Alabama accidents according to the Center for Advanced Public Safety. Distracted driving was the primary contributing circumstance of 45 fatal Alabama crashes in 2014 and was the primary contributing circumstance in 8,557 of all Alabama accidents.
While the numbers paint a harrowing portrayal of just how dangerous distracted driving is, distracted driving could be even more dangerous than the data indicates.
Why Alabama Distracted Driving Data Only Tells Part of the Story
By the very nature of distracted driving, it may well be the case that there are far more distracted driving accidents than data could possibly indicate. Distracted driving accident can only be classified as such when an eyewitness, text message or driver’s admission of distracted driving creates grounds for a distracted driving filing.
It stands to reason that some drivers will not cop to distracted driving, which is why distracted driving data only tells part of the story. Nevertheless, the data we do have indicates that distracted driving is a significant safety concern for Alabama residents. And, as it turns out, Alabama’s distracted driving story closely mirrors the national data concerning distracted driving.
National data indicates that Alabama is the sixth most dangerous state to drive in, and distracted driving and speeding are cited as two frequent factors in most fatal Alabama accidents. So, while the numbers on distracted driving are not concrete, enough evidence suggests that distracted driving continues to have a devastating impact on Alabama roads.
Comparing Alabama to National Data on Distracted Driving
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving was reported to be the cause of 3,179 traffic fatalities nationwide, a figure which accounts for 10% of all national traffic fatalities in 2014. While these numbers are alarming in their own right, Alabama’s distracted driving is similarly concerning.
Alabama distracted driving was the primary contributing circumstance in more than 5% of Alabama’s 2014 fatal crashes. And, on the whole, distracted driving was the primary contributing circumstance of more than 30% of Alabama’s total crashes in 2014.
Astonishingly, the Alabama House rejected a bill to ban distracted driving. While it would be unrealistic to suggest that a bill would eliminate distracted driving, a bill of some sort that is designed to limit distracted driving would seem to be a step in the right direction.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact Noel B. Leonard. He is an experienced Foley injury lawyer and Alabama accident attorney who represents victims of distracted driving accidents everyday in Baldwin, Escambia, and Mobile Counties. Call 251-732-2701 or Contact Attorney Leonard online to receive the expert legal assistance you deserve.