Fatal crashes caused by texting and driving on the rise in Kansas

Everyone knows that texting while driving is a dangerous distraction, but is it as bad as drinking and driving? Wichita AAA says yes.

Shawn Stewart of AAA told the Kansas ABC affiliate KAKE that “driving on your phone can be just as impairing, just as dangerous, just as deadly. It’s really come to that point.”

The Kansas Department of Transportation states that in 2017, 26 percent of all traffic crashes in Kansas were attributed to a driver’s failure to give full time and attention to driving.

According to the National Transportation Safety Administration over 300,000 people were killed and almost 400,000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving. Texting is quickly becoming the top distraction.

Stewart said the numbers are probably even higher because distracted driving is difficult to prove. AAA created a distracted driving PSA that features a texting driver because it’s become such a major factor in car accidents.

The stats on texting and driving

  • Between 2012-2017, nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), there were 3,166 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. While this reflects a nine percent decrease from 2016-2017, there is still much work to be done. In the last six years, 9.5 percent of all fatal crashes involved a distracted driver.
  • Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among younger drivers. In fact, in 2017, eight percent of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when the teen drivers were distracted at the times of the crashes.
  • According to NHTSA, since 2007, young drivers 16- to 24-years-old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers.
  • Female drivers with a phone have been more likely to be involved in fatal distracted driving crashes as compared to male drivers every year since 2012.

What can you do in the event of a crash

If you’re involved in a car accident with a distracted driver, it’s critical to understand the legal options available to you. An experienced Kansas car accident attorney at Bretz & Young Injury Lawyers will investigate the cause of your crash and work tirelessly to recover damages on your behalf. We proudly represent injured drivers across the state of Kansas.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation, free of charge.