A Time to Recognize the Danger of Distracted Driving
April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The campaign aims to educate drivers about the risks and consequences of distracted driving. It encourages motorists to practice safe driving behaviors to help reduce accidents and save lives on the road.
The Importance of Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Distracted driving is a significant threat to road safety. By raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, the goal of the campaign is to:
- Promote Safety: reduce the number of accidents, injuries, and fatalities caused by distracted driving and promote safe driving behaviors.
- Educate: provide an opportunity to educate the public about the various forms of distraction while driving.
- Change Bad Behaviors: encourage drivers to reflect on their driving behaviors and make positive changes.
- Influence Policy Changes: spur lawmakers to take action to implement or strengthen laws related to distracted driving.
- Engage the Community: allow communities, organizations, and individuals to unite and promote safe driving practices.
National Statistics Related to Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has significantly contributed to car accidents, injuries, and deaths in the United States. Here are some statistics related to distracted driving in 2019:
- Deaths: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving was reported as a factor in over 3,000 fatal crashes in the U.S. This accounted for about 8.7 percent of all fatal crashes and 9.7 percent of all traffic deaths that year.
- Injuries: The NHTSA estimates that over 400,000 people were injured in traffic accidents involving distracted drivers nationwide.
- Age groups: Distracted driving affects drivers of all ages, but younger drivers tend to be more susceptible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the highest percentage of distracted drivers involved in deadly crashes was 9.9 percent in the 15-19 age group and 9.5 percent in the 20-29 age group.
- Types of distractions: The NHTSA stated that among the drivers involved in fatal crashes who were reportedly distracted, 44 percent were using a cell phone at the time of the crash. Other common distractions include interacting with passengers, adjusting controls, eating or drinking, and daydreaming.
What is Considered Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road, increasing the risk of an accident. Some common examples of distracted driving include the following:
- Texting or using a cell phone: Texting or using a mobile phone to make calls, send messages, browse the internet, or use social media while driving is a significant distraction. It requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention, taking the driver’s eyes, hands, and mind off the road.
- Talking on the phone: Talking on a hand-held or hands-free phone while driving can also distract and reduce a driver’s focus on the road and traffic conditions.
- Eating and drinking: Consuming food or beverages while driving can cause a driver to take their hands off the steering wheel, their eyes off the road or their mind off driving.
- Adjusting controls: Adjusting controls inside the vehicle, such as the radio, climate controls, or navigation system, can divert a driver’s attention from the road.
- Personal grooming: Engaging in activities like applying makeup, shaving, or combing hair while driving can be dangerous as they require a driver to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel.
- Interacting with passengers: Conversations or other activities with passengers in the vehicle can also be distracting, especially if they require the driver to turn their head or take their hands off the wheel.
- Daydreaming or being mentally distracted: Allowing the mind to wander or being preoccupied with other thoughts while driving can impair a driver’s ability to focus on the road and react to traffic situations.
It’s important to note that even momentary distractions can have serious consequences while driving, as accidents can happen in a split second. Drivers must avoid all distractions and maintain full attention on driving to ensure the safety of themselves and others on the road.
Watch the YouTube video below from AAA to learn about the dangers of distracted driving during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Personal Injury Lawyers in Northern California
I’m Ed Smith, a California Personal Injury Lawyer. If you have been seriously injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, seeking help from an experienced legal team who can provide expert advice and guidance is essential. Call our law office at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice.
Our injury attorneys have helped Californians seek fair compensation for accidents and wrongful death cases since 1982.
See our Verdicts and Settlements.
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