April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. While it is always important to avoid distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uses Distracted Driving Awareness Month to place special emphasis on getting teens and other drivers to keep their focus on the road.
Each year, the NHTSA develops a new campaign and encourages state agencies, parents, and educators to get involved. Last year’s campaign was, Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other. This year’s campaign is called, U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
Of course, the risks of distracted driving extend far beyond receiving a ticket from the police. Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of vehicle accidents, and numerous individuals suffer serious and fatal injuries every year. Injuries caused by distracted driving are 100% preventable. If you know someone who frequently lets distractions interfere with their driving, or if you or a loved one has suffered injuries at the hands of a distracted driver, Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a good opportunity to speak up and spread the word about the risks of distracted driving.
Distraction.gov is the NHTSA’s official website for Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The website provides a wealth of resources and opportunities for drivers, parents, educators, employers, and community groups to get actively involved in helping to curb the number of distraction-related accidents. Did you know that distracted drivers injured an estimated 421,000 people – and killed more than 3,300 people – in 2012 alone?
Most Common Forms of Distracted Driving
The NHTSA defines distracted driving as, “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” According to the NHTSA, texting is currently far and away the most dangerous form of distraction for drivers on the streets and highways. Other common distractions include:
- Handheld and hands-free cell phone use
- Talking to passengers
- Reading on GPS maps, papers, and mobile devices
- Eating, drinking, combing hair, and putting on makeup
- Fiddling with playlists, music libraries, and CDs
Statistics on Distracted Driving
The NHTSA also offers these sobering statistics:
- Teenagers have the largest proportion of distracted drivers out of any age group. Ten percent of fatal accidents involving teenage drivers involve distracted driving.
- According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey, at any moment during the day, approximately 660,000 drivers are talking on cell phones or using mobile devices.
- Hand-held use of mobile devices makes you three times more likely to cause an accident than if you weren’t distracted.
- At highway speeds, in the time it takes to read a text, you will have driven the length of an entire football field.
Van Sant Law | Personal Injury Trial Lawyers
At Van Sant Law, we are passionate about promoting awareness of the risks of distracted driving. As experienced personal injury attorneys, we know the consequences all too well. Contact us today to learn more.