April is officially known as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and your Louisiana car accident attorneys here at Cardone Law Firm would like to help spread the message in order to hopefully save lives and keep all drivers safe out on the roads.
Unfortunately, the use of cell phones and other tech while behind the wheel, has made it extremely easy for drivers to get distracted. Consider that five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. If traveling at 55 MPH, that’s enough time to cover the length of a standard-sized football field. Now consider individuals who are traveling at even greater speeds, such as 75 MPH and up.
While you might have the urge to send out a text to a friend or loved one, change the radio station or song, fiddle with our GPS or even search for something you dropped on your car floor, it is absolutely vital to your own safety and the safety of others to always keep your eyes on the road.
All it takes is one simple mistake to accidentally rear-end another vehicle in a minor fender bender or to cause a life-changing car accident.
Facts About Distracted Driving
As per the National Safety Council, at least 9 people die and 100s more are injured on U.S. roads every day as a result of distracted driving. While cell phones are likely to be a major cause of concern, the reality is that dashboard touch screens and other in-vehicle technologies are also contributing to this epidemic. Another survey conducted by the organization found that 50% of drivers believe since a car is equipped with a hands-free system, they are completely safe. This is obviously false.
Even if conducting a voice-activated task, drivers still remain distracted an average of 27 seconds. While it may appear as if performing a task simply through voice would be safe, the truth is that this is still a form of distraction that can lead to drivers missing up to half of all things on the roadway such as pedestrians, bicyclists, and other drivers.
One of the biggest demographic groups susceptible to distracted driving are teen drivers (individuals between 15 to 19 years old). As per the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2017, there were 229 teens that lost their lives in distraction-affected crashes. Perhaps even more startling was that there were 2,526 teen fatalities in 2017 for all crashes.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also found out that 7% of all drivers at any given time are using their phones while driving. That means that approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving at any given daylight moment.
This number is absolutely shocking and abysmal, to say the least.
It’s also worth noting that 94 percent of all crashes are caused by driver error. It’s surreal to think how many lives could have been saved or severe injuries prevented if we could just learn to put down our devices while behind the wheel.
How You Can Observe Distracted Driving Awareness Month
After learning all this information, you might be thinking to yourself, “What are some measures I can take to not be a distracted driver?”
Let our New Orleans personal injury attorneys provide a few pointers:
- Put your cell phone and other electronic devices down.
- Set up a continuous playlist for your music before you drive, that way you can still hear your favorite songs while concentrating on the road.
- If you are with a passenger, set a good example as a model driver, and utilize them as your co-pilot in case you need to check your GPS or perform some other task.
- Avoid multitasking while behind the wheel, such as eating.
- Always remember these 3 essentials: Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel, and mind on the road.
Pedestrians, bicyclists, and all others on the roadway should also remember to avoid being distracted by their cellphones or other devices while in heavy traffic areas. Together we can all make the roads safer for everyone.
If you or a loved one have suffered physical injuries or mental trauma as a result of a distracted driver accident, the New Orleans car accident attorneys at Cardone Law Firm can help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.