Distracted driving has long been considered a cause of many Minnesota vehicular accidents that lead to serious injury and death, but it appears that our virtual lives over the past year have highlighted another problem. Drivers who hop into their cars following videoconferencing appear to “zone out” and not pay attention to the road.
Screen time and decreased driving skills
While Minnesotans may not be on the road as much as in previous years, fatalities from motor vehicle accidents appear to be on the rise even though there are fewer cars on the highways. Computer overload combined with driving skills that have atrophied over the last year-plus appear to be the culprits.
A study conducted by Root Insurance appears to confirm this trend, indicating that 54% of adults surveyed found it difficult to concentrate on the road after video conferencing. The younger the driver, the more serious the problem as 65% of Generation Z drivers reported that they had problems concentrating.
Distracted driving accounts for 10% of road fatalities
Texting and cellphone usage are well-known causes of distracted driving, and while it may be difficult to determine how much video conferencing has contributed, fatalities on American highways rose sharply in 2020 on a miles-driven basis. Preliminary data indicates that 42,060 people were killed, an increase of 24% when the number of miles driven was considered. No matter whether a driver is checking email, texting or thinking about the recent video conference call, the risk of distraction is great as one’s mind isn’t fully on the road.
Providing video conferencing as a cause
Using the recent increase in video conferencing as a possible cause for motor vehicle accidents is still in its infancy, yet it is still a reason that victims should consider. If you have been injured in a car accident, consult with a legal professional to consider all courses of action.