April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Know the Risks
Each April, Focus Driven, along with The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and other partners, increases its efforts to make Americans aware of the dangers of distracted driving. The aim of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is to try to save lives and prevent injuries by changing the roadway safety culture in the United States.
Although the current emphasis is on cell phone use and texting while driving, the NHTSA points out that these aren’t the only distracted driving culprits. Any activity that distracts a motorist while driving — changing a radio station, talking to a passenger, eating — is considered distracted driving and is potentially dangerous to both drivers and passengers.
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed and an estimated 448,000 were injured due to distracted driving. Of those distraction-related crashes, cell phone use could be directly attributed to 995 fatalities and could be blamed for 24,000 injuries.
Studies have shown that even “hands-free” cell phones do not eliminate cognitive distraction and that cognitively distracted drivers can miss up to 50 percent of their driving environment — an environment that includes things like stop signs and pedestrians.
The sponsors of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month emphasize there are several steps individuals can take to prevent cell-phone related crashes. They include: parking before taking a call or dialing your cell phone; turning your phone on “silent” putting your phone in the trunk or glove box; or telling a driver you are uncomfortable with them using a cell phone while they are driving.
The Jacksonville distracted driving attorneys at Farah & Farah support the important work being done to prevent injuries and deaths on Florida’s roads and highways due to distracted driving. Florida still has no law restricting cell phone usage while driving.
If you have been injured in an accident due to a distracted driver, please feel free to call us at (800) 533-3555 to discuss your legal options.
By Eddie Farah