The National Safety Council (NSC) has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and is campaigning to stop cell phone use while driving and other dangerous habits. According to the NSC, thousands of people die each year in accidents involving cell phone use while driving. However, cell phones are not the only type of distraction that leads to accidents, and it is important for drivers to avoid all distractions as often as possible.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving Accidents
Here is some information and advice to help you avoid distracted driving accidents:
1. New drivers are more easily distracted: Drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 comprise only 6.4 percent of all drivers, but account for 11.4 percent of traffic fatalities. Parents should teach their kids to be responsible drivers, and kids should recognize that they are not invincible.
2. Every second counts: Looking at your phone for even a brief moment can be disastrous. You are usually driving so fast that you need to maintain constant focus on the road.
3. Eating while driving is a distraction: While perhaps not as distracting as cell phone use, eating while driving does take some of your attention off the road and can lead to an accident or to the police pulling you over.
4. Cell phone records are admissible in court: Prosecutors can subpoena your cell phone records in order to show that you were talking on your phone or texting at the time an accident occurred.
5. Texting and driving can lead to child endangerment charges: If you text and drive with a small child in the car and a police officer sees you, you may be charged with child endangerment.
6. Distracted driving can lead to public shaming: With social media becoming ubiquitous, some cities are encouraging people to take pictures of distracted drivers and post them on the internet.
7. Watching crash videos can discourage you from texting and driving: Watching videos of accidents caused by texting and driving is a good way to scare yourself into paying attention to the road.
8. Even hands-free cell phone devices can be distracting: While not as dangerous as hand-held cell phones, hands-free devices are still distracting and can lead to accidents.
9. There’s an app for that: There are smartphone apps that automatically block incoming calls and texts, and don’t allow you to send texts, while you are driving. Download and utilize one of these apps, just to be safe.
10. Get a lawyer if it’s too late: If you have already been involved in a distracted driving accident, whether you were at fault or not, you should consult with an attorney who has experience dealing with these cases.
What to Do if You Are Involved in an Auto Accident
If you have been injured in an auto accident, whether it involved cell phone use or not, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately. An attorney can review the facts of your case and determine whether you have a viable claim. If so, they can help you seek the compensation you deserve.