Distracted driving is a major threat to roadway safety in Wisconsin and across the nation. It’s linked to thousands of fatal or catastrophic accidents every year. In many states, distraction is the leading cause of motor vehicle collisions. Concern about distracted driving has gone up in recent years along with the behavior in question, especially as smartphones have become nearly ubiquitous. Drivers stuck in traffic, at red lights or even on monotonous stretches of roads may find it tempting to pick up their phones.

According to one study announced by a car insurance company, many drivers recognize the dangers posed by distracted driving. When people text behind the wheel, they take their minds away from the task at hand. At 55 mph, motorists can travel the length of a football field within seconds. Indeed, almost half of the participants said that they considered distracted driving to be the biggest threat to their own safety on the roads.

Despite this recognition, many participants also admitted to being distracted themselves behind the wheel. On average, they spent 13 minutes a day on their phones while driving, and their most tempting activities were not limited to voice conversations. Instead, 52% said that they found group text conversations to be particularly distracting. Another 18% said they were drawn to watch streaming videos.

Crashes caused by distracted driving can lead to severe injuries and permanent disabilities. Someone who has been injured in such a motor vehicle accident can work with a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for their losses.