Speeding Drivers, Drunk Drivers and Distracted Drivers Continue to be the Leading Cause of Fatality Car Crashes



Columbia, MO- January 24th, 2019

According to statistics, driver distraction, including cell phone use such as texting while driving, is a contributing factor in far too many crashes. In 2017, distracted driving was reported in crashes that killed 3,166 people on the nation’s highways. That represents roughly 9% of all fatalities on our roadways. Many experts believe the number is actually higher because many may never get reported.

It is believed that cellular phone use, including both texting and calling while driving, is one of the most common distractions for drivers. Many states and cities have passed laws against driving while using cellular phones. It is a certainty that more will do so.

The Governors Highway Safety Association, an organization made up of state safety officials, has a clear message to all drivers, hibernate or turn off your cell phones while driving, regardless of your current laws.

The following is a list of tips from the GHSA to help limit distractions while you’re driving;

1. Turn it off and stow it. Turn your phone off or switch it to silent mode before you get in
the car. Then stow it away so that it’s out of reach.
2. Spread the word. Record a message on your phone that tells callers you’re driving and
will get back to them when you’re off the road, or sign up for a service that offers this
3. Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.
4. Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call or respond to a text for you.
5. Forget the Text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It’s
dangerous and against the law in most state. Even voice-to-text isn’t risk-free.
6. Know the law. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws before you get in the car.
Some states and cities prohibit the use of cell phones in addition to texting.
7. Prepare. If using a GPS device, enter your destination before you start to drive. If you
prefer a map or written directions, review them in advance. If you need help while driving,
ask a passenger to assist you or pull over to a safe location to change your GPS or review
your map/directions.
8. Secure your pets. Unsecured pets can be a big distraction in the car.
9. Mind the kids. Pull over to a safe place to address situations involving children in the car.
10. Focus on driving. Multi-tasking behind the wheel is dangerous. Refrain from eating,
drinking, reading, grooming, smoking, and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes
off the road.

The latest statistics show that speeding accounted for 37% of the people killed in Missouri motor vehicle accidents in 2017. Only eight other states had more traffic deaths caused by speeding.

The GHSA also published a report on the dangers of speeding. It’s called, “Speeding Away from Zero: Rethinking a Forgotten Traffic Safety Challenge.”  Nationwide, according to the GHSA report, 26% of deaths in car and truck crashes were due to excessive speed.

According to statistics, speeding drivers approached drunk drivers as the leading cause of fatal motor vehicle accidents in 2017.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drunk driving, drivers with a blood alcohol content of at least .08, accounted for 29 percent of the nation’s traffic deaths.

Driving drunk absolutely is unacceptable. Ask anyone. Most people admit it is wrong and dangerous.  But the GHSA notes that speeding is a widely accepted normal part of our lives.  Most drivers speed. Drivers agree that it can be dangerous, but few acknowledge how it can increase their chances for crashing and critically injuring others.

The GHSA reported that fatal speeding related crashes did briefly slow down a bit.  The percentage of deaths in speeding accidents compared to all traffic accident fatalities fell between 2010 and 2014.  However, it’s doubtful that there are fewer speeding drivers on the road. The most likely reason for the drop is the introduction of more automobile and highway safety features, that better protect drivers and passengers.

The GHSA also states the fatality crashes due to speeding drivers was once again back on the rise beginning in 2015. It is believed that there are simply more distracted drivers, more drivers that are driving many more miles than ever before and the growing legalization of recreational marijuana use.

The GHSA report describes four different categories of drivers that speed. The speeding drivers in these categories generally are differentiated by how often they speed and engage in other dangerous, aggressive behaviors.

The “Deliberate Speeders” are typically younger males. They are the most aggressive and risky drivers, who possess little concern over speeding.

The “Typical Speeders” is the largest group of drivers.  They most often engage in casual speeding.

The “Situational Speeders,” who exhibit less aggressive driving behaviors, including speeding.

The “Unintentional Speeders” are the most likely to have unfavorable attitudes for speeding and the least likely to actually exceed posted speed limits.

It’s simple, speeding drivers cause accidents that kill people. Speeding while driving is negligent. These negligent drivers cause accidents that bring pain and suffering to innocent people and families.

If you were seriously injured or lost a loved one in a motor vehicle crash and it was caused by another driver, speak with an attorney who represents families that have been injured in a serious car crash. 

The AW Smith Law Firm is a serious injury and wrongful death law firm. The sole focus of our practice, is getting our clients the settlements they deserve, after they have suffered an injury or loss. Our past results, speak volumes about our talent and our passion, in helping each of our clients. We have been recognized nationally, for the success we have had on behalf of our clients. Serious accidents can happen to good people. When they do, be sure to call The AW Smith Law Firm at 573-777-3333 or contact us through our website at www.AWSmithLaw.com. The AW Smith Law Firm works on a contingency fee basis and there is never a charge for the initial consultation.

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