Distracted Driving - A Leading Cause of Car Accidents In Hawaii
14April

Distracted driving is a big problem when drivers are not paying adequate attention to the responsibilities of being on the road. April is Distracted Driving Awareness month and law enforcement around the country, including the Hawaiian Department of Transportation (HDOT) and county police departments, are stepping up patrols to demonstrate a commitment to reducing the frequency of distracted driving.

The Honolulu distracted driving accident attorneys at Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli and Pratt, PA understands how easy it can be to lose your attention to something else going on when you are driving – but the results of even a momentary distraction can be devastating.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is driving without your attention on your driving. Distraction means a driver is doing one or more of the following.

  • Eyes off the road
  • Hands off the wheel
  • Focus off driving

Distracted driving can look like eating in your car and then looking down at your lap after a big hunk of something falls there. It can be trying to program your navigation system while needing to squint at the tiny numbers on the dash. It can be talking to a passenger in the back seat while looking at them in the rearview mirror.

But one of the biggest distractions is reading or sending a text while driving.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), going 55 mph while reading or sending a text is like driving the length of a football field with your eyes closed.

How Often Does Distracted Driving Cause a Car Crash?

The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHSTA) reports the following statistics with regard to distracted driving in the US.

  • Car accidents involving a distracted driver kill close to 9 people every day.
  • 3,142 people died in distraction-affected motor vehicle accidents in 2019.
  • 25% of distracted drivers involved in fatal car accidents are aged 20-29.
  • Distracted driving injured over 400,000 people in 2018 – about 15% of all injury accidents.

Of Hawaii’s 108 traffic fatalities in 2019, 37 deaths involved distracted drivers according to the Hawaii Department of Transportation.

What Hawaii is Doing to Discourage Distracted Driving

Like many states, Hawaii has enacted laws to try and discourage distraction while driving. Hawaii prohibits the use of hand-held electronic devices while driving or stopped at a traffic signal.

In 2019, there were 3,626 citations issued in Honolulu for distracted driving – over half of all distracted driving citations issued in the state. Fines start at $297 and are higher in congested areas like school zones or construction sites. Hawaii follows a primary enforcement model, meaning that if an officer sees you using a hand-held device while driving you can be cited even if you are not violating any other law.

Even with all the attention on distracted driving and trying to prevent it, accidents involving distracted drivers are still increasing every year. If you have been injured in a car accident by a distracted driver, the Honolulu distracted driving accident attorneys at Kurzban, Kurzban, Tetzeli, and Pratt, PA can help. We know distracted driving is dangerous and has serious consequences. We make sure distracted drivers are held fully responsible for the damages they cause. You can schedule a free consultation with our Honolulu office by clicking here or calling us at 866-377-3676.

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Jed Kurzban Esq

Catastrophic Injury Attorney Hawaii

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