Personal Injury Lawyer Warns Against Distracted Driving
According to the National Transportation Highway Safety Administration, nearly 3,331 people died in 2011 because of crashes that involved distracted driving. An additional 387,000 were hurt due to the same cause. Distracted driving is defined as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” These behaviors include texting, using a cell phone, adjusting a navigation system, and eating.
Technology is a big source of distracted driving so turning your smartphone off before you travel prevents you from receiving calls that you have to answer. If you like to text, avoid temptation by storing your phone in the glove compartment, trunk, or other area where it’s out of reach. If you have a GPS, enter your destination and your options before embarking on a trip. If you must use your technology, such as to phone the police, pull over to a safe spot away from traffic, turn on your blinkers, and then use your device.
Another source of distraction is fatigue, particularly after work or at night when driving home from a party. If you’re on the road but don’t feel you can concentrate on driving, pull over to a safe location, such as a parking lot. Then take a nap until you can wake up refreshed.
If you have kids, talk to them about the dangers of distracted driving. The youngest and least experienced drivers are at the highest risk of accidents, and 16 percent of all distracted driving crashes involve drivers under 20. If you can’t trust your teens to avoid using their smartphones while driving, confiscate their devices. Tell them to speak up if they’re riding in a car where the driver is distracted by cellphone use.
As your personal injury lawyer, we want you to avoid becoming a distracted driving statistic for the current year. If you get into an accident anyway, please contact us so we can fight for your rights.