April is distracted driving awareness month in the United States. Did you know that each year, approximately 3,000-5,000 fatalities result from distracted driving? And it’s not just the fatalities that significantly add up — distracted driving results in over 350,000 injuries each year.
Distracted driving awareness month is designed to help bring national awareness to the devastating effects caused by distracted drivers and to get citizens involved in making our roadways safer.
What is Distracted Driving?
The definition of distracted driving is any scenario that distracts the driver’s attention away from the act of driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration identifies three different types of distraction that can occur while driving:
- Visual — Taking your eyes off the road
- Manual — Taking your hands off the wheel
- Cognitive — Taking your mind off driving
For example, texting while driving combines all three distractions outlined above. While texting is one of the most common distractions, there are many other ways to be distracted while driving.
This could be anything like eating, talking to someone in the car, assisting children in the back seat, using navigation, putting on makeup, or even just adjusting the radio.
Little things don’t feel like a distraction but can have awful consequences if you’re not cautious.
Not Worth the Risk
The truth of the matter is that a simple text might take your eyes off the road for as little as a few seconds – but a lot can happen in those few seconds. At 60 miles per hour, your car travels 88 feet per second. That means you would travel an entire football field in just over three seconds. While in your mind you think that you just barely glanced down, you can travel a significant distance at any speed.
And that’s just texting. When you’re putting on your mascara or eating a taco while driving down the road, you are putting yourself and everyone around you at risk.
There are many ways to take a stand and proactively work to discourage distracted driving. Here are some examples.
- Parents can set a good example for their children by following the rules. Talk to your young and future drivers about the dangers of driving while distracted and be sure to enforce these rules when they are driving.
- Teachers, bosses, and other parties can all have policies and be open about the importance of responsible driving and avoiding distractions.
- Teens can choose to be proactive and responsible by speaking up. They can make the decision not to drive distracted and stick to it.
Pledge to Drive Safely
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages drivers to take a pledge to drive safely. The NHTSA pledge asks you to make the commitment to drive phone-free:
- Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.
- Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in m car is distracted.
- Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.
Anyone can participate in the pledge. Take a stand for driving safely.
Contact Heintz Law
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, you can count on the experienced personal injury lawyers at Heintz Law to help you determine the best legal strategy for your personal injury case.
Make Heintz Law your experienced Florida personal injury lawyer. They will work aggressively to protect your rights and to get you the compensation you deserve. Schedule your free initial consultation to discuss your case. We’ve helped accident victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida receive compensation for their injuries. Call us for a free consultation now at the number above or contact us online.
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