April is Distracted Drivers Awareness Month. This month, take the time to consider the impact distracted driving can have on your safety and take steps to stop driving distracted. Distractions are everywhere in the car: the scenery outside, the music coming from the radio, food and drinks, your phone, and conversation with others in the vehicle. Some of these distractions are more dangerous than others – talking to another passenger in the car does not require you to take your eyes off the road or your hands off the wheel like using your phone does. Recognize the distractions you face and how you can eliminate them to reduce your chance of causing a car accident.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to the National Safety Council, distracted driving causes 1.6 million collisions in the United States each year. Other notable statistics include:
- 330,000 injuries result from texting and driving each year;
- 25 percent of car accidents in the United States are the result of drivers text messaging while driving;
- Answering a text message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of five seconds; and
- 21 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal collisions were using their phones at the time of the crash.
What to Do if you See a Distracted Driver
The signs of a distracted driver are fairly similar to those of a drunk driver. A vehicle being driven by a distracted driver will often:
- Swerve in and out of lanes;
- Fail to maintain a consistent speed;
- Drive past stop signs, red lights, and yield signs; and
- Make sudden, delayed turns and stops.
If you see another vehicle exhibiting one or more of these behaviors, stay away from it. Try to pass the vehicle and move to a far lane. When you can safely do so, call the local law enforcement to report the vehicle’s actions, make, model, and license plate number.
Avoid Being a Distracted Driver
You can only avoid distracted drivers if you are not distracted yourself. Distracted driving can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Use the following guidelines to help yourself be an alert, reactive driver and avoid collisions with others:
- Put the phone away. Do not text and drive. If you must speak on the phone while driving, use a hands-free headset or your car’s onboard phone software;
- Do not eat while driving;
- Keep the music at a reasonable volume so you can hear sirens and other noises from your surroundings; and
- Do not comb your hair, apply makeup, or do any other personal grooming while driving.
Work with an Experienced Bronx Car Accident Lawyer
If you are injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you have the right to seek compensation for your resulting damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, speak with an experienced automobile accident attorney at Grant & Longworth, Attorneys at Law. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial consultation in our office.