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  • April Marks National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

    distracted drivingAccording to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,142 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2020. Although 96% of motorists that participated in the American Automobile Association (AAA) poll on distracted driving said that they consider texting or emailing while driving as very dangerous or extremely dangerous, four out of 10 admitted to doing so in the last 30 days. This National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, let us take a moment to remember that distractions behind the wheel can lead to devastating, life-changing consequences. These consequences are all 100% preventable simply by taking a pledge to practice safe and responsible driving behaviors.

    Types of Distracted Driving

    Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention away from driving, like:

    • Texting
    • Emailing
    • Talking on the phone
    • Applying makeup
    • Smoking
    • Turning around to grab something out of the back seat
    • Eating or drinking
    • Changing the music or navigation system
    • Talking to other people inside the vehicle

    Distracted Driving Statistics

    Although all distractions behind the wheel are extremely dangerous, current research indicates that texting is one of the most hazardous behaviors. Reading or sending a text generally takes someone about 5 seconds. According to the NHTSA, with a car traveling 55 mph, it is equivalent to driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes shut. In fact, a joint 2016 study conducted by the NHTSA and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that nearly 80% of all crashes and 65% of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention in the three seconds preceding the event. The truth is plain and simple: to drive safely, your full attention must be on the task of driving.

    The number of individuals who lost their lives in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2020 is the highest recorded number since 2016, when 3,197 people sustained fatal injuries. On average, distracted driving accounts for somewhere between 14% and 17% of deadly automobile collisions in the United States each year. These accidents cause hundreds of thousands of injuries annually; the NHTSA estimates that distracted driving contributes to approximately 280,000 non-fatal injuries every year. Here are some examples of the types of injuries that a victim may sustain in a distracted driving-related crash:

    • Internal injuries
    • Traumatic brain injuries, or TBIs
    • Whiplash
    • Concussions
    • Spinal cord injuries or paralysis
    • Disfiguring facial injuries and/or scarring
    • Limb loss and amputation
    • Fractures and broken bones
    • Burns
    • Lacerations, bruises, and “road rash”
    • Crushing injuries
    • Soft tissue injuries
    • Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD

    How to Prevent Distracted Driving

    As Distracted Driving Awareness Month, April is the perfect time to take responsibility for doing your part to stop distracted driving. Here are some useful tips on preventing distracted driving-related crashes from the NSC, or National Safety Council:

    • Plan ahead. Determine your route and check directions and traffic conditions before you depart on your trip
    • Program your GPS before you leave
    • Adjust vehicle controls, like mirrors, seat, radio and air temperature before you start driving
    • Do not multitask behind the wheel
    • Do not talk on your phone – even hands free – or interact with your vehicle’s infotainment (in-car entertainment) system
    • Put your phone on “Do Not Disturb” mode while driving
    • Do not reach down or behind your seat, pick up items off the floor, or clean the inside of a window while driving
    • Do not eat or drink behind the wheel
    • Pull over and park in a safe and legal spot if you need to talk, text, eat, or drink

    If you would like to learn more about National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, please visit:

    If you have a question about injuries you sustained in a distracted driving-related crash, someone at our firm can help. Contact a representative online now.

    Philadelphia Personal Injury Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP, Representing Injured Victims Since 1947

    If you were injured in an car accident, contact the Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at Galfand Berger LLP today. Call us at 800-222-USWA (8792) or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Lancaster, and Reading, we serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Allentown and Harrisburg.