On average, 3,400 people die each year from distracted driving. In addition, distracted driving kills nine people and injures more than 1,000 people every day in this country. In fact, taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your risk of crashing. It’s time we put down our phones and drive like our lives depend on it.
With all this talk about distracted driving, you would think this would shock drivers into focusing their attention on the road. However, this isn’t happening. With the increase in technology within cars comes an increase in the opportunity for distraction. Ironically, hands-free and car infotainment systems, originally intended to reduce distractions, are actually causing them.
In 2015, about 3,800 people were killed and 391,000 injured as a result of distracted driving, according to the NHTSA. Texting is the top distraction, but this could involve anything from programming your GPS, adjusting your radio or using your in-car touchscreen. In fact, research reveals that drivers who use voice-based and touch screen features in their vehicles are distracted for at least 40 seconds while programming their navigation systems.
The increase in car accidents as a result of distracted driving is made even worse by those who don’t wear seat belts. Sometimes, it even has to do with where you live. According to the CDC, those living in rural areas comprise 19 percent of the U.S. population, with rural roads comprising 57 percent of the 22K car occupant deaths in 2014. Most of these crashes happen in urban areas; however, an increasing number are occurring on isolated rural roads that tend to be long and winding.
It can be difficult to put your phones out of reach when driving. You’re expecting that important business call…your kids are at school and may need something…you’ve just gotta check if someone “liked” your latest post on Facebook…are you still meeting up with friends at the mall? All of these distractions are going through your mind. With the phone within reach, it’s all too easy to grab it and risk a glance or a quick emoji text. That’s when accidents happen: in the blink of an eye.
Heed these tips to keep distraction to a minimum:
- Put your phone away and out of sight to avoid temptation: the glove box, the trunk, your purse in the backseat.
- Program your GPS ahead of time. Knowing where you’re going before you even back out of the driveway is key. Program it into your device, set it up, press GO, then start moving.
- Pull over if you have to take a call or send a text. Find a safe place to pull over, quickly address the issue, and get back on the road.
- Ask passengers for help. If you have to send a message or redirect your GPS, ask your passenger for help if you have one. They can send that text for you, change the radio, or plug in your destination.
- Be a responsible passenger. If you are a passenger in a vehicle and notice the driver texting or engaging in other distracting behavior, say something. Gently remind them that it can wait! By the same token, if you know your friends or kids are out driving, avoid calling or sending them a text. If you have to, add “no rush. Wait till you have arrived to respond” or something to that effect. Sometimes, that sense of urgency can be deadly, especially by teens who feel that if they don’t respond to a parent right away, they will get in trouble.
Contact Kuzyk Law
If you have been the victim of a car crash as the result of driver distraction, call Kuzyk Law now to recover your damages at 661-945-6969. Let us help you secure the compensation you need to pay for your hospital and medical bills. Why should you have to pay for the poor choices someone else made?