April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. One of the main causes of car crashes in the U.S. is distracted driving. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) is mobilizing law enforcement officers nationwide to look out for drivers texting or using their cell phones while driving.
In 2016, the NHTSA reported that at least 3,450 people were killed and 431,000 were seriously injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers including those who were texting and driving. Those numbers have drastically increased compared to prior years. In the same year, the NHTSA reported that alcohol-impaired car crashes were at their lowest point in decades.
What Is Distracted Driving?
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as any activity that diverts attention from the task of safe driving, including:
• Talking or texting on your phone
• Eating and drinking
• Talking to people in your vehicle
• Fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system
Texting is the most alarming distraction. When you send or read a text, it causes you to take your eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds. At 55 mph, this is equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. It is impossible to drive safely and avoid deadly accidents unless you give your full attention while behind the road. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
States Fight Distracted Driving
Almost every state has passed or is in the process of passing legislation banning distracted driving in one form or another. Although states favor the use of hands-free devices while driving, this is not a complete solution to enforcing safe driving and avoiding tragic accidents on the road. Multiple studies show that hands-free driving does not necessarily make driving itself much safer because the brain remains distracted by the conversation.
We can all play an important role in the fight to save lives by ending distracted driving.
• Teens: Teenagers can best relay the message to their peers, especially by speaking up when they see a friend driving while distracted. They can share the concerns of driving while distracted on social media to remind their friends not to make the deadly choice of driving distracted.
• Parents: Parents can lead by example – by never driving distracted – as well as talking to their young drivers about the risks of distractions behind the wheel.
• Educators and Employers: Educators and employers can play a part, too. They can spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving at school and the workplace. They can also ask their students and employees to commit to distraction-free driving or set a company policy on distracted driving.
Call a Los Angeles Car Accident Attorney Today!
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If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident and seriously injured, our experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys are available to personally review your case. Call us at 1-888-848-5048 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.