The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has dubbed April Distracted Driving Awareness Month. For the past several years, the NHTSA, state agencies, and schools have used Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw special attention to the dangers that arise when drivers taking their eyes and minds off of the road.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
The fight against distracted driving is an extremely important cause. Consider the following statistics:
- Americans send over 153 billion text messages every month. During daylight hours, at any moment, 660,000 drivers are actively texting or doing something else on their mobile devices behind the wheel.
- Distracted drivers killed over 3,300 people and injured an estimated 421,000 drivers and passengers in 2012. This represents an increase of more than 30,000 injuries as compared to 2011.
- Numerous studies have found that hands-free cell phone use is just as dangerous as talking with a phone in your hand.
- 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of adults surveyed admitted that they have extended, multi-text conversations while behind the wheel.
- At 55 MPH, if you spend five seconds texting, you will have driven the length of an entire football field without looking at the road.
While teens are the most common offenders, no one is immune from distracted driving. Distractions take many forms besides texting and talking on the phone. Using a GPS device, eating and drinking, interacting with passengers, and tending to children in the back seat are all additional distractions that can lead to serious accidents.
What Can You Do to Curb Distracted Driving?
If you want to help mitigate the risks of driving, the NHTSA provides a number of suggestions and resources for getting involved. Of course, one of the most important things you can do is to pledge to yourself that you will not let distractions interfere with your driving. Consider these tips to help you avoid succumbing to distractions on the road:
- Finish your texting conversations before you shift into drive. While you’re driving, switch your phone to silent and put it in a place where you won’t see its on-screen notifications.
- Set your GPS directions and playlist before you go.
- Unless it is an emergency, let your calls go to voicemail. If you absolutely must answer, consider pulling off in a safe spot on the side of the road.
- Don’t eat or drink behind the wheel.
- Make a conscious effort to maintain focus on your surroundings.
You can also get involved in pledge drives, social media campaigns, and other in-person and online outreach programs. For more information, visit the NHTSA’s website, distraction.gov.
Auto Accident Attorneys in St. Louis, MO | Carey, Danis & Lowe
Carey, Danis & Lowe is a St. Louis personal injury law firm that represents individuals who have been injured and lost loved ones due to distracted driving. To learn more, give us a call or contact us online today.