April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month from the National Safety Council (NSC). It isn’t just this April, though – it’s every April! Distracted driving is such a serious and persistent issue on the highways and streets of America, it makes sense to talk about its dangers every year.
Based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 10 people die and another 1,000 people are seriously injured each day in a car accident that was caused by distracted driving. This upsetting trend has been consistently in datasets from across the last decade, which means that distracted driving is not something that will naturally “go away” unless we all decide to act against it.
Forms of Distracted Driving
To start your personal fight against distracted driving dangers, it helps to understand what can distract you while behind the wheel. Distractions can take one of three distinct forms, including visual, manual, and cognitive. The three types of driver distractions categorized by the CDC take the driver’s eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel, and mind off the task of safely driving, respectively.
Some of the worst and most common forms of driver distraction are:
- Talking on the phone
- Eating and drinking
- Using a GPS
- Applying makeup
- Talking to a passenger
- Adjusting the radio, media player, etc.
- Reading a billboard
There Could Be More Distracted Driving Accidents Than It Seems
It is difficult to know just how many drivers are actually engaging in distracted driving habits due to peoples’ natural tendencies to try to save face when being surveyed about bad behaviors. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that about 9% of all fatal traffic accidents are “distraction-affected crashes,” and about 20% of injury-causing accidents involve a distracted driver. However, the real number is likely much higher, as people usually need to admit to using a cellphone or eating behind the wheel for anyone to confidently know about it. With people not wanting to admit they did something wrong for fear of either being cited or assigned high liability through insurance investigators, it can be assumed that the majority of people will lie and say they were not distracted when they caused a crash.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving
Knowing about distracted driving is one thing, but actively trying to stop it is something else entirely. What can you do to help bring distracted driving accidents down to zero?
Remember these quick tips whenever you drive:
- Keep your smartphone out of sight and out of reach. Putting it in the glove compartment is an easy way to secure it while also making it not readily available.
- When you have multiple passengers in your car, request that they chat among themselves without getting you too involved in the conversation.
- Put a passenger in charge of navigation when using a GPS app or driving through unfamiliar territory.
- After picking up food-to-go, place the items where you cannot reach them, so you are not tempted to snack while driving. It also helps to not put a straw in a to-go drink.
In a Distracted Driving Accident? We Can Help File a Claim
If you were injured or you lost a loved one in a car crash that was caused by a distracted driver, then you are entitled to take legal action against the liable driver. With the help of Morris & Dewett Injury Lawyers in Shreveport, you can get your distracted driving accident claim moving without adding more stress on your shoulders. We are to help you recover from an injury accident that was caused by a distracted driver by pursuing owed damages, including medical bills, lost wages, and more.
When you contact our Shreveport office online or by calling (888) 492-5532, you can schedule an appointment to meet with an associate at our firm. We even have evening and weekend appointments for your convenience.