Your Local Hawaii Personal Injury And Medical Malpractice Firm

How big of a problem is distracted driving in Hawaii?

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

When out on the road in Hawaii and across the United States, it just takes one glance left and right at other drivers to see that many are not paying attention to their driving. Instead, they are distracted by a handheld device, onboard apps, the radio and in other ways.

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of auto accidents with injuries and death today. Researchers are vigilant in trying to find ways to quell the problem and make the roads safer. Unfortunately, statistics show that their best efforts are having limited impact. For those visiting or residing in Hawaii, the numbers are even starker and more concerning. When there is an accident, it is important to determine how it happened. If distraction was a factor, this can be essential when deciding on how to proceed.

Hawaii strives to get drivers to pay attention to the road

Statistically and anecdotally, the Hawaii roads are rife with distracted drivers. The number of road deaths in which a driver who was distracted contributed to the crash was double the number on the mainland. The Hawaii Department of Transportation is aware of the issue and is promoting campaigns to get drivers to stop the practice.

The most recent comprehensive numbers for distracted driving accidents and fatalities are from 2022. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration says that more than 3,300 people were killed in a distracted driving crash that year. This accounted for around 8% of all road fatalities. The numbers for Hawaii in 2023 show that of the 119 fatal accidents there were on the islands, 26 involved a distracted driver. This was more than one-fifth.

Law enforcement has been aggressive in citing drivers who are distracted behind the wheel. Their numbers show that more than 4,700 citations were issued. This, however, is not having the desired effect. Nor are repeated entreaties to drivers to put their device away, program apps and onboard navigation systems before heading out on a trip, and keep from taking part in other activities that remove a driver’s attention from the road.

The NHTSA gives tips to drivers who are tempted to drive distracted. They include pulling over if a text is necessary; understanding that distraction is not simply texting but any activity with the device; having a passenger to send texts when needed; and to put the phone in “do not disturb” mode to take the temptation out of the equation.

Recognizing when a crash was due to distraction

Accidents have many hallmarks and it is imperative to recognize them when deciding what strategies to use to hold people accountable for the actions. For example, speeding might leave significant skid marks on the road. With distraction, the auto accident could have been a rear-end crash or a driver weaving into the opposite lanes because they were not looking where they were going.

No matter whether it was because of a cellphone or the distraction came about for another reason, people who were hurt should know the value of a full investigation to gather evidence as to what occurred. This can be fundamental to making a full recovery for the medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering and more.