Distracted driving continues to be a serious concern for motorists all around America. Indeed, the National Safety Council (NSC) has calculated that 2016 was one of the worst years, if not the worst year, in recent history when it comes to the number of car accident fatalities in the country. Although the numbers are still being collected, it appears that there will be around 40,000 automobile-related deaths, which is a dramatic 14% increase.
In order to bring attention to this problem, the NSC has once again declared April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It is difficult to know just how many drivers actually distract themselves while driving, most notably with their own smartphone. 47% of drivers told the NSC through a recent survey that they thought texting and driving was “safe enough”. An even larger percentage likely participates in this dangerous activity, as it can be assumed that some people would not admit to it when completing the survey.
Fast Stats About Distracted Driving
How bad is distracted driving? Consider these statistics and facts:
- 64% of car accidents in the U.S. involve at least one person using their cellphone.
- At least 25% of car crashes involved a driver using a smartphone.
- More than 420,000 injuries are caused by a distracted driver each year.
- The NSC has found that distracted driving accidents occur, on average, during just 3 seconds of distraction.
- NSC stats have also concluded that the likelihood of an accident increases 2300% when someone uses a cellphone while driving.
- 11 teenagers will perish in a car accident each day due to texting-and-driving behaviors.
- There is no evidence to suggest that using a hands-free device actually makes using a smartphone while driving safer.
- About 15% of drivers regularly have full cellphone conversations while driving.
Safe Driving Behaviors We Should All Practice
With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, there is no better time than now to improve your own safe driving practices. If you already follow all of these tips and do your best to be responsible behind the wheel, you can share them with family and friends. We all must get the word out that distracted driving is a real danger and needs to stop today.
Keep these tips in mind whenever you are driving to stay safe:
- There is no safe time to use your smartphone when driving. You should not even glance at it to read a brief text. The average time it takes to read a text is about 5 seconds. At highway speeds, you will travel 300 feet in that amount of time, without looking where you are going.
- If you do need to read a text or make a call, find a safe spot to pull over. Ideally, you should pull completely off the street and into a parking lot to reduce the chances of being struck while stopped.
- Sometimes you need to use your phone’s GPS app to get from point A to point B. It is recommended that you review the map thoroughly before you drive so that you can keep it silenced or shut off while behind the wheel. If you are traveling with a friend, let them hold the phone and give you directions as they come up. Remember: holding a conversation with someone in the car can be just as distracting as texting and driving.
No matter how responsible you are behind the wheel, there is nothing to guarantee the driver one lane over is trying to be safe as well. Anyone of us can be blindsided by a negligent driver and caught in a serious car accident. If this happens to you or someone you love, contact Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC and our Atlanta personal injury attorneys at your first opportunity. We are a top-rated law firm in Georgia for our skills, professional recognitions, case results, and client reviews. You can also request a free consultation to begin.