It’s April, which means it is also Distracted Driving Awareness Month! This annual and nationwide safety campaign from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) spreads the word about the dangers of distracted driving and challenges all motorists to do more to stop it. At Walner Law, protecting the people of our communities is of utmost importance to us, so we are proud to honor and observe Distracted Driving Awareness Month by discussing it here.
How Dangerous is Distracted Driving?
Based on the latest complete data from the NHTSA in 2019 – the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused significant data and research disruptions – distracted driving was the direct cause of more than 3,100 deaths that year. This amount shot up by 10% from the previous year. To make matters worse, preliminary data from 2020 and 2021 do not suggest that this amount went down, even as fewer drivers used the roads at the height of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions.
Research shows that texting-and-driving is the worst form of distracted driving, too. When reading or typing a text message, a driver is 2300% more likely to get into a car accident than a driver who is paying proper attention to the road. Unfortunately, the majority of drivers have admitted to driving while distracted, specifically regarding using a smartphone behind the wheel.
Lastly, it is important to know that teen drivers are a significant demographic when it comes to causing distracted driving accidents. Nearly 60% of all car accidents involving a teen driver are caused by some form of distraction, and the distracted driving accident fatality rate among teens is 300% of that of adult drivers. If you have a teenage driver in your family, there is no better time than right now to discuss the importance of driving without distractions.
Distractions that many teens face or engage in while driving include:
- Using a smartphone to talk or text.
- Chatting with passengers.
- Eating or drinking.
- Applying makeup or self-grooming.
How Can You Stop Distracted Driving?
It is unlawful in all 50 states to drive while distracted. But the risk of administrative or even criminal penalties is obviously not enough to stop drivers from distracting themselves behind the wheel. What can you do to help bring distracted driving accidents down to 0?
There is no way for you to make sure that all the drivers around you on the road put away their distractions. This means that if you want to stop distracted driving, then you have to start with your own behaviors. Never drive while distracted. Hold yourself accountable. Be responsible and become the example driver that you want others to be.
Spread the Word Today
The more people know about Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the dangers of distracted driving, the better things will get. Please help spread the word by sharing this blog entry with your friends, family members, coworkers, and social media circles. It only takes a second and costs nothing, but it could make a bigger difference than you will ever know!
Walner Law offers comprehensive legal counsel to the people of Chicago and Cook County, Illinois. If you’re ever hurt by a distracted driver in or around the city, then please let us know. Click here to get a free consultation with our attorneys.