Legal Magazine

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted on the 28 April 2014 by Caglelawfirm @ZCagle

Distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic on American roadways. In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving crashes.OUTDOOR ADVERTISING ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA BILLBOARD

While I have blogged on distracted driving many times, frequently, I talk about texting and driving.

The fact that the statistics do not go down is surprising as much as we hear safety messages and broadcasts about how dangerous it is to text while driving. According to the NHTSA, 42% of young drivers said they felt confident in their ability to safely text and drive at the same time. As well, in 2012, hand-held cell phone use was found to be higher in the age group 16-24 than any other age group.

  • In Missouri, the law bans texting for novice drivers, however, some municipalities such as Manchester, Missouri have passed bans on texting and driving.  To be safe and avoid a ticket anywhere in Missouri, then do Not Text and Drive
  • In Illinois there is a ban on all cell phone use (handheld or hands-free) for bus drivers, novice drives and a ban on all texting for all drivers.  Illinois bans the use of cell phones while driving in a school zone or in a highway construction zone. January 1, 2014, Illinois handheld ban for all drivers.

What is Distracted Driving Really?

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents.  But truly, distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distracts endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety and include:

  • texting
  • using a cell phone or smart phone
  • eating and drinking
  • talking to passengers
  • grooming
  • reading, including maps
  • using a navigation system
  • watching a video
  • adjusting radio, CD player or MP3 player

However, since texting usually includes visual, manual and cognitive attention, it is by far the most alarming distraction. According to many, the best way to end distracted driving is through awareness and education about the dangers of distracted driving.

Some Interesting Facts & Statistics from NHTSA:

  • an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver–a 9 percent increase from estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011
  • As of December 2012, 171.3 billion text messages were sent in the US every month
  • 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
  • Drivers in their 20′s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes
  • At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving–a number that has been consistent since 2010
  • Five seconds is the average amount of time that your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling 55 mph, enough time elapses for you to travel the length of a football field, essentially blindfolded

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and you think that distracted driving may have been a factor in your accident, you may need a personal injury attorney. If the other driver was distracted by inattentiveness or use of electronic devices, then they may have been negligent.  Our attorneys understand the complexities of proving liability in Missouri and Illinois auto accident cases and we are available seven days a week for free consultations. Call us toll free (800)685-3302 or locally (314) 276-1681.


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