What Should I Know About Distracted Driving?
March 26, 2020
More than 275,000 people are injured each year in auto accidents involving distracted driving, and nearly 3,000 of distracted driving crashes are fatal, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). All these tragic accidents could have been prevented, had drivers focused on the road.
The NSC first designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in 2010, partnering with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and local law enforcement to change the behavior of drivers to save lives. Although the national campaign has been postponed this year as a result of the Coronavirus, it is well worth reviewing the facts about distracted driving:
- At any moment, more than 600,000 drivers on the road are texting or using their phone.
- On a typical day, 700 people are injured in a crash involving distracted driving.
- Despite distracted driving campaigns, these statistics have not improved much since 2010.
- Although most drivers recognize the dangers of distracted driving, more than half say they still text or talk on the phone while driving.
What are the Laws Prohibiting Distracted Driving?
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), every state, except Montana and Missouri, has laws prohibiting drivers from texting while driving. Most states ban the use of hand-held cell phones. In New Jersey, drivers can be fined up to $400 for the first offense for using hand-held devices. The fines increase with each subsequent offense, and points may be added starting with the third offense. In Pennsylvania, fines for texting while driving are less, and no points are applied. There is no state-wide ban on hand-held devices in Pennsylvania, although some municipalities have enacted bans.
Forms of Distracted Driving
Texting and calling on the phone are perhaps the most notorious forms of distracted driving. Other activities can also divert a driver’s attention and cause accidents, including:
- Adjusting temperature controls
- Eating or drinking
- Checking a GPS
- Talking to passengers
- Changing radio or music selections
Statistically, younger drivers are more prone to distractions, including conversations with other passengers. In approximately one out of every 10 distracted driving crashes, a teenager was behind the wheel.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving
April is the ideal month to take responsibility for preventing distracted driving by following a few simple tips:
- Pull over and park your car if you need to text.
- Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode when you are driving.
- If you are a passenger in a car and the driver starts to text or talk on the phone, volunteer to do the talking or texting for them.
Also, remember that hands-free is not risk-free. It is better not to talk on the phone at all. Simply focusing on the road can save lives.
Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP Help Accident Victims Obtain Maximum Compensation
Distracted driving is one form of negligence, and it causes tragic accidents every day. If you were seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident because of the negligent actions of someone else, contact a qualified Philadelphia car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP. Our firm represents car accident victims Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg. To arrange a free consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or contact us online.