April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 80% of automobile accidents and 16% of motor vehicle fatalities are caused by distracted driving. Every day we at The Womac Law Firm see the devastating effects driving while distracted can have on a person's life.
You probably already know that the most dangerous distracted driving behaviors by far are texting and talking on the phone, but did you know exactly how dangerous they are? According to estimates from the National Safety Council, 1.6 million crashes a year can be attributed to cell phone use. Your risk of an auto accident is 23 times greater if you are texting while driving and 9 times greater if you are reaching for a cell phone, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Studies have even shown that simply speaking on a cell phone while driving, hands-free or not, reduces a driver's focus on the road by as much as 37%.
While much attention has been brought to the epidemic of talking on the phone and texting while driving, don't forget that there are other behaviors that can dangerously distract a driver. Eating, drinking, looking at a map or GPS, styling hair, and applying makeup are all behaviors that can distract your attention from the road and increase your risk of an accident.
Despite these statistics, according to a HealthDay poll, most adults admit to engaging in distracted driving behaviors, and 37% of drivers have admitted to sending or receiving text messages while driving. That's why the National Safety Council is observing April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to draw attention to this epidemic. Change starts with you. Be honest with yourself about your distracted driving behaviors, and take steps to reduce or eliminate them. Set a good example for your kids, and talk to them about the dangers of driving distracted, since younger drivers tend to engage in risky behavior behind the wheel more often.
And remember, if you should find yourself the victim of a distracted driver, The Womac Law Firm has years of experience handling these types of cases. We're available any time you need help - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.