Earlier this week, the National Transportation Safety Board—the federal agency charged with investigating certain types of highway accidents—published a list of the most pressing issues the federal government and states face in improving highway safety. For those who pay attention to the headlines, it doesn’t come as a surprise that distracted driving, driving under the influence, and commercial trucking safety make the top-ten list.

Distracted driving was listed as the number one issue in highway safety, with a total of 11 accident investigations having been linked to electronic device distraction since 2003, resulting in injuries for 259 people and death for 50 people. Distracted driving is, of course, a significant issue all states—including Massachusetts—are dealing with. Distracted driving among commercial vehicle drivers is a particularly serious problem because the risks are that much greater. 

Distracted driving encompasses a wide variety of activities, including cell phone use, conversations with passengers, eating, grooming, yelling at children. Anything that takes one’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving can be considered distracted driving, even if we’re used to thinking of texting and talking on a cell phone when we hear the term.

Motorists are bound to exercise reasonable care in driving at all times, and those who cause harm to others because of distracted driving can and should be held accountable. Accident victims should always work with an experienced attorney in pursuing a personal injury case to ensure their rights and interests are fully represented.

Source: CBS News, “NTSB releases 2015 “Most Wanted” safety list,” Stephen Smith, Jan. 13, 2015.