You may already be aware that distracted driving can cause motor vehicle accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles and/or pedestrians. However, a 2018 study shows that collisions that result from distraction are likely to be more serious than those with other causes. The risk of severe injury or death increases when at least one of the parties becomes distracted on the road.

The study identified several factors that can contribute to more serious accidents. For example, a distracted driver may be more likely to cause a rear-end collision when not paying attention to the road, and this is a type of accident that tends to be more severe. Factors that contribute to the severity of an accident as identified in the study include the following:

In-vehicle distractions

Distractions may be inside the vehicle or out of it, but in-vehicle distractions may be more dangerous. They play a role in 48% percent of all crashes. Among the most dangerous in-vehicle distractions are cell phones. However, dangerous distractions can also include the consumption of food and drink, conversation with vehicle occupants, listening to music and examining your reflection in the mirror.

Age

Younger, less experienced drivers, particularly those aged 20 to 24, have the highest percentage of crashes, according to the study. This figure holds true regardless of whether the cause of the collision is driver distraction or something else.

Location

Collision location can affect overall severity. Crashes that take place in rotaries or roundabouts tend to be less severe, even when distraction is a factor. However, an accident that occurs on an interstate highway or in a construction zone tends to be much more severe. Driver distraction amplifies hazards already present in these settings.

When multiple factors are present, it is possible that the resulting accident will be even more severe. This can negatively affect everyone involved, whether motorists, pedestrians or bicyclists.  If you believe you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact George B. Ready for help with your claim.