April: Distracted Driving Month April 2, 2019
Did you know that April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month? At least 9 people die in accidents that involve distracted driving every day – and an average of 100 others sustain injuries that range from mild to severe. A variety of activities and behaviors can distract drivers behind the wheel, but every single one is preventable. To learn more about driving safely and responsibly, check out the helpful tips we compiled below.
What is “Distracted Driving”?
There are three main kinds of distracted driving: cognitive, manual, and visual. Cognitive distractions are ones that take a driver’s focus off of the task at hand: driving. One example of a cognitive distraction behind the wheel is when a driver’s mind is wandering – in fact, anything that pulls a driver’s concentration away from his or her surroundings on the road counts as a cognitive distraction. Even driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is considered a cognitive distraction for drivers. Visual distractions are when a person takes their eyes off the road, and manual distractions are anything that results in the driver taking his or her hands off the wheel.
Here are a few more examples of visual, cognitive, and manual distractions that endanger drivers, passengers, bicyclists, and pedestrians on American roadways every day:
- Eating (and/or drinking) while driving,
- Talking or texting on a cell phone;
- Checking GPS or typing in a location;
- Changing radio stations or adjusting temperature controls, and:
- Searching for lost items on the floor or passenger seat
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly 80% of automobile crashes involve some form of driver distraction in the 3 seconds before the crash or near the crash area. For collisions involving trucks, distracted driving accounts for more than 70% of the crashes that occur every year. Although all forms of distracted driving can be deadly, some of the most documented dangerous behaviors behind the wheel include texting, talking on the phone, eating, and/or drinking.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 3,450 people were killed in distracted driving-related incidents in 2016. Certain age groups – such as adolescents and other young drivers – are more likely to drive distracted. Although it is critical that every driver commits to being safe and responsible behind the wheel, it is particularly important to teach teens and young adults about being responsible and avoiding deadly behind the wheel distractions.
To prevent deadly driving incidents, the NHTSA promotes awareness and educates Americans on the dangers associated with distracted driving. Distracted Driving Awareness Month is just one example of this. The agency also:
- Fights for legislation targeting distracted driving, such as texting or talking on the phone behind the wheel;
- Creates and provides public service announcements on the dangers of distracted driving, and:
- Teams up with state and local police forces to determine effective methods – and penalties – for distracted driving
Want to Learn More About Distracted Driving Awareness Month?
During Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the NHTSA teams up with national law enforcement agencies in a crackdown against distracted driving called U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Numerous agencies provide several helpful – and life saving – resources.
If you would like to learn more about Distracted Driving Awareness Month, you can visit here. If you have questions about injuries you or a loved one sustained in an incident involving distracted driving, please contact a representative at our firm directly.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Represent Automobile Accident Victims
If you were injured in an automobile accident, please contact our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.