Distracted driving crashes may be higher than federal data show
On behalf of Mitchell Sassower of Arye, Lustig & Sassower, P.C. posted in Car Accidents on Thursday, May 9, 2013.
Distracted driving may be a more serious problem than the statistics suggest. A safety group recently analyzed state and federal fatal car accident data, and found that fatal accidents in which drivers were on the phone have been seriously underreported. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTSA) says that it's working with states to get better data, but that accurate information about distracted driver accidents is difficult to obtain.
The safety group, the National Safety Council, reviewed 180 fatal accidents from 2009 to 2011 that had evidence the driver had been using a cellphone. It found that 8 percent of 2009 crashes in the NHTSA's accident database were marked as involving cellphones. In 2010, 35 percent of the crashes studied were marked as involving cell phones, and about half of the 2011 crashes studied were marked as involving cell phones.
New York reported one fatal cell-phone involved crash in 2011 and 10 in 2010.
The issue is more important than mere record keeping. Many people assume that federal statistics are accurate, and lawmakers make decisions about policies based on NHTSA statistics. When one woman began lobbying lawmakers in her state for more restrictions on cellphone use after her daughter died in a car accident, some legislators told her that federal data showed that distracted driving was not that large of a problem.
The NHTSA and the safety council say that data on distracted driving can be difficult to obtain because it relies on drivers, who may not wish to report that they had been on a phone. As a result, the National Safety Council is urging the NHTSA to develop estimates of cellphone-related car accidents, similar to estimates of crashes involving drunk drivers.
Since 1965, we’ve recovered over $1 BILLION on behalf of our clients. read more
$2.1 million settlement
for 33-year old electrician who fell from ladder while attempting to fit heavy cable into crown box when cable sprung back and struck him, causing him to suffer left shoulder injury with impingement.
$1.6 million settlement
for 38-year old electrician who slipped and fell on debris on stairway with resulting cervical herniated disc and aggravation of pre-existing arthritic changes.
$2.55 million settlement
for 42-year old electrician who fell into an uncovered, unprotected hole and suffered a severe low back injury with herniated disc(s) that required surgery at L4-5 and L5-S1 levels.
$1.75 million settlement
for 26-year old construction worker who fell through opening in roof and fractured his wrist, requiring surgery with open reduction and internal fixation, external fixation device, and eventual fusion.
$2.5 million settlement
for 38-year old female electrician (with history of prior neck injury) who tripped on uneven Masonite protective floor covering, and suffered neck injury with herniated discs requiring cervical fusion.
$1.2 million settlement
during trial for 40-year old sheet metal worker who was struck in the neck and shoulder by an air conditioning unit and suffered herniated cervical discs and cervical radiculopathy.
*AV Preeminent is the highest rating of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories - legal ability and general ethical standards.
New York’s Premier Construction Accident And Personal Injury Lawyers