Distracted Driving Awareness Month, observed each April, aims to bring the dangers of distracted driving to the forefront. Sponsored by the National Safety Council, this month honors the thousands of Americans who die each year in distracted driving crashes, as well as working to educate drivers and prevent future accidents.
While modern technology allows us to keep in touch almost constantly through phone calls, texts, emails and social media, it also endangers lives when drivers use their gadgets behind the wheel. Even with hands-free operation and voice-to-text dictation, all cell phone use increases the chances of a crash.
What is distracted driving?
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving can be visual, cognitive, or manual and often involves:
- Talking on the phone, even via Bluetooth or other hands-free tools
- Taking photos or videos
- Using voice-to-text dictation tools
- Reading or posting on Facebook or other social media
- Checking and responding to emails
- Using GPS to search for destinations or possible stops
- Adjusting the radio or air conditioning
- Distraction by passengers, often children
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How dangerous is distracted driving?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eight Americans die every day in an accident caused by or involving a distracted driver. Many government agencies and nonprofit organizations sponsor campaigns to raise awareness about this epidemic, yet the deadly collisions continue.
In 2014 alone, almost 3,200 people died in distracted driving crashes and more than 430,000 people suffered injuries, according to Distraction.gov, the official US. Government site for distracted driving. These statistics mean that distracted driving is one of the most common causes of accidents that result in fatalities and injuries in the United States.
How does a cell phone distract drivers?
Thanks to the wealth of modern technology in our lives today, we are all accustomed to keeping in touch almost around the clock. We like having instant gratification, quick responses, and the ability to Google any answer at any time. However, this love of easy and immediate communication leads to one of the most common distractions while driving.
Talking on the phone, even hands-free, while driving reduces reaction time and distracts you from processing information about the road in front of you and traffic around you. Texting or looking at the phone for other reasons compounds this problem by taking your eyes off the road. Crashes happen and drivers suffer injuries and die every day in the few seconds it takes to read a text or email.
How can Bressman Law help?
The car accident attorneys at Bressman Law work with the victims of distracted driving accidents. If you or a loved one suffered severe or fatal injuries in a crash because the other driver was distracted or engaging in other negligent behaviors, contact us today at (614) 538-1116 to learn more about your options for recovering compensation for your damages.