This is the month! It’s the month to put an end to talking on your cell phone and text messaging behind the wheel.
Why this month? Because it’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2012! It’s as good of a month as ever. Every year, throughout the entire month of April, the National Safety Council, our Alabama personal injury attorneys and safe driving advocates across the country work together to help to spread the word about the dangers associated with distracted driving and to encourage more drivers to hang up the phone, put distraction aside, and focus on the road.
The truth of the matter is that distraction-related car accidents took the lives of more than 3,000 people in 2010. That’s 3,000 people who didn’t have to die. They were killed by the irresponsibility of drivers.
Our Tuscaloosa injury lawyers understand that about 25 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve a driver who is distracted by the use of a cell phone. That’s no surprise when you consider that using either a hand-held or a hands-free cell phone makes a driver four times more likely to get into an accident. Texting increases a driver’s risk for an accident by nearly 25 times. It’s so bad that using a cell phone at the wheel gives a driver the same reaction time as a driver who is legally drunk. Using a cell phone while driving reduces the amount of brain activity that is associated with driving by about 40 percent.
There are simple ways to reduce the risks of distraction-related car accidents:
-Make it a personal goal to keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel and your mind on driving.
-Look into technology that stops phone calls while driving, like how to hold your calls when you’re behind the wheel and deliver the messages once you’ve stopped.
-Put your cell phone and text messaging device out of sight and out of mind while driving.
-Speak up if you’re riding with a driver who is engaging in dangerous distractions.
-Change your voicemail message to alert callers that you may not be answering because you’re behind the wheel.
-If you’re talking to someone who is driving, tell them to call you back once they’ve stopped.
Drivers are also asked to take the pledge to drive cell phone free. It’s all a part of National Distracted Driving Awareness month and the attempt to make our roadways safer for everyone. The pledge consists of the following:
-Stop using electronic devices while driving.
-Tell callers that you’re driving and that you’ll be happy to continue the conversation once you’ve stopped the car.
-Talk with friends and family members about the dangers that are associated with engaging in distractions while driving.
“Cell phones are a significant danger to those in our roadway community,” said Jacy Good, a board member of the anti-distraction group FocusDriven. “Speak up when someone calls you while driving or uses a phone while driving with you in the car. Tell them it’s not safe and ask that they put the phone down. Do it for my parents.”
Alabama Truck Accidents Have Variety of Causes, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, March 6, 2012
Reduction of Birmingham and Alabama Car Accidents the Aim of Anti-Texting Bill, Alabama Injury Attorneys Blog, February 21, 2012