As a responsible driver, you already know that distracted driving is unsafe. Texting or using handheld apps while driving affects your awareness of what is happening around you and your ability to react to changes like stopped traffic and red lights. So do other distracting activities like eating, adjusting the radio and putting on makeup. Every year, distracted driving car accidents injure and kill thousands of innocent people.
Unfortunately, the problem is getting worse in the U.S., not better. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that deaths in distracted driving accidents increased 11 percent from 2020 to ’21. Since 2018, such fatalities have gone up 21 percent. A total of 3,211 people died in collisions involving a distracted driver in 2021, representing the highest fatality rate since 2016.
The worst states for distracted driving deaths
Every state, including West Virginia, has a distracted driving problem on its highways and surface roads. But the issue is a bigger deal in some states than others. In fact, West Virginia has one of the lowest rates of distracted driving fatalities in the country. But neighboring Virginia has the ninth-highest rate of any state for this type of fatal auto accident. In that state, 1.3 people were killed in distracted driving collisions per billion miles driven.
That’s bad, but not as bad as New Mexico, which had 6.2 deaths per billion miles driven. That is by far the worst fatality rate of any state.
What a distracted driver can do to you
Living in and around Weirton means you could be relatively safe from distracted drivers. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t distracted drivers out there. It’s still a real possibility that a driver distracted by their phone or something else could crash into you and give you or someone you love serious injuries. If that happens, you could be entitled to substantial financial compensation for your lost wages, medical bills and other damages.