Fighting For Your Rights

Distracted Drivers Cause Fatal Accidents

More fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents are caused by distracted driving

According to a new study, drivers and passengers are not the only ones that are increasingly facing the risk of death from someone else's distracted driving. The study, conducted by the University of Nebraska Medical Center, found that distracted drivers are becoming a more prevalent cause of fatalities among pedestrians and bicyclists as well.

For the study, the researchers analyzed data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, a records repository of pedestrian and bicycle accidents that resulted in the death on at least one person involved. The researchers wanted to determine to what degree distracted driving is responsible for pedestrian and bicycling fatalities. As a result, the research focused on accidents that occurred between 2005 and 2010 where the accident report indicated that the driver of the vehicle was using a cellphone, GPS system, computer, or two-way radio just before the accident.

Having analyzed the data from this time period, it was found that distracted driving is increasingly causing fatal bicycle and pedestrian accidents. Specifically the study found:

  • The number of fatal pedestrian accidents caused by distracted drivers per 10 billion miles traveled (VMT) increased to 24.6 in 2010 from 18.7 in 2005.
  • Fatal bicycle accidents caused by distracted drivers per 10 million VMT also increased during this period, from 116.1 in 2005 to 168.6 in 2010.
  • Cellphones alone accounted for 18.6 of fatal bicycle/pedestrian accidents.
  • Fatal pedestrian and bicycle accidents comprise about 10 percent of the total number of deaths caused by distracted driving.
  • Most pedestrians/bicyclists that were killed were males under 65 years old. Most fatalities occurred at night or when the pedestrian/bicyclist was not traveling across a crosswalk.

California's response

The dangers of distracted driving are well known in California. As a result, the legislature has passed laws banning the use of handheld cellphones and the sending, reading and composing of text messages while driving. Violators are subject to a fine for each offense. Despite the law, many Californians apparently cannot resist the temptation to stay connected, putting pedestrians, bicyclists and other drivers at a needless risk of harm.

When a car strikes a pedestrian or bicycle, the aftermath can be catastrophic. Due to the car's overwhelming size and weight, there is a greater risk of a fatality than in most other types of accidents. Pedestrian and bicyclists that manage to survive are often left with serious injuries such as traumatic brain injury, severe lacerations, broken bones, internal bleeding or spinal cord injury, requiring surgery and extensive treatment or rehabilitation.

Fortunately, under California law, pedestrians or bicyclists that are injured because of a distracted driver have the right to seek compensation for their injuries. Additionally, family members may seek compensation for the lost of their loved one in such a situation by filing a wrongful death lawsuit. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed because of a driver's negligence, an experienced personal injury attorney can advise you further on your right to compensation and work to hold the responsible party accountable.

Our Blog

Recent Posts
  • The Difference Between a Catastrophic Injury Case and a Personal Injury Case
    The Difference Between a Catastrophic Injury Case and a Personal Injury Case
    Posted by Eliot Reiner, APLC

    Being involved in an accident that results in injuries is a traumatic experience. That said, some injuries are worse than others and, if they are ...

    Read More
  • What Not to Say to the Insurance Adjuster
    What Not to Say to the Insurance Adjuster
    Posted by Eliot Reiner, APLC

    After being involved in a motor vehicle accident , one of the first calls you will receive is from the other party’s insurance adjuster. During this ...

    Read More
  • Could COVID-19 Ruin the Insurance Industry? What the Experts Are Saying
    Could COVID-19 Ruin the Insurance Industry? What the Experts Are Saying
    Posted by

    Recently, insurance industry analysts and professionals have indicated that COVID-19 has the potential to bankrupt the industry—depending on how ...

    Read More


Give Us A Call For A Free Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.