Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council has launched a new advertising campaign, called “Just Drive.” Although the number of distracted driving accidents has decreased in recent years, distracted driving still causes thousands of fatalities and injuries in the U.S. In fact, at any time during the day, there are approximately 660,000 people using a cell phone while driving. This shocking statistic comes from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which reported that nearly 3,500 people were killed and 391,000 people were injured in distracted driving accidents in 2015 alone.
What Counts as Distracted Driving?
While many people only think of using a cell phone as distracted driving, there are actually a variety of distractions that put you at risk for a crash. Visual distractions are things that takes your eyes off the road, such as looking in the backseat, reading a GPS, or even gazing at the scenery. Manual distractions are things that take one or both hands off the wheel, such as fiddling with A/C or radio controls, searching a purse or wallet, and holding a drink or sandwich.
Cognitive distractions include things that take your mind off the road. Heated arguments, thinking about work or family issues, and even daydreaming could put you at risk for a crash. You need to have both hands on the wheel, your eyes on the road, and your mind focused on driving at all times in order to stay safe.
What Can You Do to Avoid Distracted Driving?
There are several steps you can take to avoid distracted driving:
- Have a passenger check your phone for you
- Pull over and park in a safe location (NOT the side of the freeway) before sending a text or making a call
- Avoid using any apps while driving
- Adjust all A/C and radio controls before you start
- Have all kids safely secured in car seats
- Eat before you leave or after you arrive at your destination, not while you drive
- If you have trouble staying off your phone for any length of time, put it in the trunk or the backseat
Distracted driving claims the lives of thousands of people each year. If we all learn to avoid distractions and just drive, we can help make the roads a safer place. So put away the phone, keep both hands on the wheel, and focus on the task at hand until you reach your destination.
The Law Office of Robert J. Kaiser represents clients who have been injured by the negligence or carelessness of others. If you were injured by a distracted driver, it is important to file a claim as soon as possible to pursue justice. Our Santa Clarita car accident attorney will discuss your options and help you file the necessary documents in a timely manner. Call today at (661) 441-3446 to receive a free case evaluation.