April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month (NDDAM). With this in mind the National Safety Council is encouraging all drivers to put down their phone and keep their eyes on the road.
With the proliferation of cell phones, distracted driving has emerged as a deadly epidemic. And while texting and driving is a top distraction, there are a number of other risky actions – from setting up navigation to adjusting the radio to sipping coffee – which divert drivers’ attention.
The impact of distracted driving is devasting. According to the NHTSA, in 2020 distracted driving killed 3,142 people. At least eight people are killed and 1,000 injured daily in incidents reported as distraction related in this country. And sadly, younger drivers are more apt to use handheld device while on the road. As a result, car crashes are the number one killer of teens.
Technology is exacerbating the problem – causing drivers to become more distracted behind the wheel than ever before. Fifty-three percent of drivers believe if manufacturers put “infotainment” dashboards and hands-free technology in vehicles, they must be safe. And, with some state laws focusing on handheld bans, many drivers believe they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device. But in fact, these technologies only distract our brains,
Aimed at encouraging responsible driving, NDDAM is a united nationwide effort to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving,
So what can drivers do now to minimize distracted driving?
According to the Automobile Association of American, the top ways to prevent distracted driving include:
- Fully focus on driving. Do not let anything divert your attention, actively scan the road, use your mirrors and watch out for pedestrians and cyclists.
- Store loose gear, possessions and other distractions that could roll around in the car, so you do not feel tempted to reach for them on the floor or the seat.
- Make all adjustments before you get underway. Address vehicle systems like GPS, seats, mirrors, climate controls and sound systems prior to hitting the road. Decide on your route and check traffic conditions ahead of time.
- Finish dressing and personal grooming at home – before you get on the road.
- Snack smart. If possible, eat meals or snacks before or after your trip, not while driving. On the road, avoid messy foods that can be difficult to manage.
- Secure children and pets before getting underway. If they need your attention, pull off the road safely to care for them. Reaching into the backseat can cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
- Put aside your electronic distractions. Don’t use cell phones while driving – handheld or hands-free – except in absolute emergencies. Never use text messaging, email functions, video games or the internet with a wireless device, including those built into the vehicle, while driving.
- If you have passengers, enlist their help so you can focus safely on driving.
- If another activity demands your attention, instead of trying to attempt it while driving, pull off the road and stop your vehicle in a safe place. To avoid temptation, power down or stow devices before heading out.
- As a general rule, if you cannot devote your full attention to driving because of some other activity, it’s a distraction. Take care of it before or after your trip, not while behind the wheel.
The bottom line? Safe driving entails your full, undivided attention.
Contact Queen Yasmine Injury Law
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle crash involving distracted driving, it is important to hire an experience personal injury attorney. At Queen Yasmine Personal Injury, we are here to help you navigate the justice system when you are due compensation from an unfortunate event or accident.
We will fight to hold those responsible accountable for medical expenses, pain and suffering and much more – and are unrelenting in seeking the justice you deserve. You won’t face any legal fees unless you win your case, so call our firm today or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.