By now, the potential consequences of texting and driving are known. In fact, in 2015, of the 861 traffic deaths in Missouri, 100 were linked to cell phone usage. Missouri law states that anyone under the age of 21 is prohibited from texting and driving. Texting and driving is clearly dangerous but teenagers’ habits have evolved into something even more dangerous…driving while using social media. According to research, the reaction time of a driver is slowed by 38 percent while using their smartphone, as opposed to the 12 percent of someone who has been drinking.
An AT&T study found that 40 percent of drivers use social media while driving. Drivers are texting, tweeting, updating statuses, posting to Instagram and sending snapchats. Distraction.gov, a government backed program fighting to end distracted driving, reports that at any given moment 660,000 drivers are using cell phones and driving.
In March of 2016, a 30-year-old Kansas City man was killed in a collision. The driver of the vehicle that struck this man had been taking a Snapchat video. A Snapchat feature allows the user to take a video and the app will then post how fast the user is traveling. The young driver had been posting to social media seconds before the accident that took this poor man’s life.
The AT&T study found the below unsettling statistics. Smartphone activities people say they do while driving:
- Text (61 percent);
- Email (33 percent);
- Surf the web (28 percent);
- Facebook (27 percent);
- Instagram (14 percent); and
- Snapchat (11 percent).
- 62 percent keep their smartphone within easy reach while driving;
- 30 percent of people who post to Twitter while driving do it “all the time”;
- 22 percent who access social networks while driving cite addiction as a reason; and
- Of those who shoot videos behind the wheel, 27 percent think they can do it safely while driving.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident and you think that texting or social media on a cell phone caused the driver to be distracted, contact an experienced car accident attorney today to discuss your options. Contact a Kansas City, Missouri, car accident attorney at the Krause and Kinsman Law Firm today for a free consultation.
Robert Kinsman is a personal injury, mass tort, business litigation, and employment discrimination attorney who practices in Kansas City, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law and has been practicing law for several years now. Robert Kinsman is passionate about normalizing the life of his clients after they have been seriously injured. Learn more about his experience here.