Help reduce distracted driving accidents this month and every month
How many times have you been driving down the road and glanced over to see another driver looking at their phone, eating a messy hamburger with both hands, craning their neck to yell at kids in the back seat, or otherwise engaged in some behavior that clearly takes their attention off the road?
These kinds of distracted driving behaviors are all too common. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) there are at least 660,000 drivers using electronic devices such as cell phones behind the wheel every day. And according to the most recent statistics, which are from 2015, distracted driving claimed 3,477 lives and injured 391,000 people.
In an effort to raise awareness of the risks of distracted driving and reduce this dangerous behavior, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has partnered with local and state law enforcement agencies to designate April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road while they are operating a motor vehicle. The main types of distraction are:
- Visual: taking your eyes off the road
- Manual: taking one or both hands off the wheel
- Cognitive: taking your attention off of driving
What is Being Done?
Many states already have laws against distracted driving behaviors. For example, in California, Massachusetts, and New York, it is illegal to hold any kind of electronic device such as a cell phone while driving. Hands-free commands may be used to operate devices however. In Michigan, steep fines apply to texting and driving–$100 for the first offense and $200 for each subsequent offense.
However, laws really aren’t enough to stop distracted driving. Why? In part because it is difficult for law enforcement to catch drivers in the act. In some states, seeing a driver using a cell phone isn’t cause for a traffic stop in and of itself. The fact that distracted driving is extremely widespread is another issue—even if law enforcement officers were empowered to stop every single distracted driver, they wouldn’t have the manpower to do it.
Based on the success of “buckle up” campaigns in getting Americans’ seat belt use up to 90 percent, the NHTSA is betting that raising public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving will be the most effective way to reduce the behavior and prevent accidents. Distracted Driving Awareness Month is an important part of their strategy.
What Can You Do To Stop Distracted Driving?
Everybody needs to be involved in order to stop people from driving while distracted. It is important to model good behavior, both for your own safety and for your kids. Here are some tips:
- Be familiar with the car you are driving
- Pre-set your radio, MP3 device, and climate control before driving
- Silence your cell phone and other devices that take your attention from the road
- Pull off the road and out of traffic before taking care of any issue that may distract your attention, such as dealing with children, texts, music, and navigation systems.
Have You Been Involved in a Distracted Driving Accident?
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you deserve compensation. At The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker, we can help you secure the full and fair compensation you deserve. Contact us at 800-333-0000 today to learn more about hiring us as your car accident lawyer.