In my work as a personal injury lawyer I have seen more and more fatal and serious accidents caused by distracted driving.
The upsurge in crashes appears to be due to the amazing growth of smart phone technology we have seen in recent years. While car phones were once cumbersome devices with few functions, latest generation smart phones are computers in the form of hand-held devices which allow the users to text, surf the Internet, play games and check social media. For many drivers the temptation to use a smart phone at the wheel is too great.
It’s not a smart thing to do. Sadly, they seldom realize the risks they are taking until they are too late. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. A number of safety organizations have joined forces to encourage drivers to stop the texts, the web surfing, or other forms of distraction. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers will be highlighting this problem in a series of blogs, videos and articles.
It’s worth pointing out that cell phones are not the only form of distraction. A recent study found rubbernecking, which involves looking at other things on the road is responsible for about 7 percent of fatal distracted driving crashes. Talking to another occupant of the car is responsible for 5 percent of fatal distracted crashes.
Other forms of distracted driving include eating, being distracted by an animal in the car and fiddling with the car radio. However, distracted driving due to the use of cell phones is now responsible for a quarter of all accidents in America.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that at any given time in America about 660,000 drivers are using cellphones or other devices. Distracted driving has become an epidemic that killed 3,154 people in 2013 and injured as many as 424,000, according to NHTSA. Younger drivers are most at risk with those under 20 accounting for 10 percent of distracted driving crashes.
As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council is urging drivers to take the pledge not to use cell phones at the wheel and to share it with your friends.
“There is no safe way to use a cell phone and drive – even with a hands-free device. Protect the ones you love – including yourself – and pledge to stop using your phone behind the wheel. Calls kill. No one should ever die from such a completely preventable cause,” the National Safety Council states.
Everyone who takes the pledge in April will be entered into weekly drawings for:
NSC First Aid, CPR & AED Online course
Alive at 25 Parent Program Online course
A backpack full of safety items for kids
A stuffed animal donated by KidsAndCars.org
If you have been hurt or lost a loved one due to the actions of a distracted driver call our Virginia distracted driving injury lawyers for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.