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Distracted Driving – More Than Just Texting and Driving

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  The month of April can be associated with foolish jokes, rainclouds, golf and green thumbs. However, what many of us may not know is that April is also National Distracted Driving Awareness month. Campaigns locally, and nationally, are spreading the word on how all drivers need to pay attention to one thing---the road.

According to the collected data, there were 3,179 people killed and 431,000 injured in accidents involving distracted drivers.  Of these, individuals in their 20’s made up approximately one-quarter (25%) of the drivers involved in fatal accidents. Furthermore, ten percent (10%) of the populations in this study were teenagers 14-19 years old who were involved in a fatal accident due to distraction. This particular age bracket makes up the largest percentage of drivers who were distracted at the time of an accident.

As drivers, we are constantly reminded to not “text and drive.” However, distracted driving is much more than a text. Distracted driving is an activity that diverts attention away from the principal task of driving and can cause an accident. Distractions jeopardize the lives of drivers, passengers and bystanders.  Examples of distracted driving include but are not limited to:

  • Texting
  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading (including maps)
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

The reason “texting” is brought to our attention so often is due to it being a cognitive, manual and visual task. Those three (3) together make for a potential dangerous and life threatening event to occur when behind the wheel. The best way to avoid any type of distraction is to be educated on this topic, put away your phone and disregard any potential distraction when operating a vehicle.

Finally, keep in mind that before you answer a text or allow a distraction to overtake your ability to drive responsibly.  Driving while distracted is similar to driving while blindfolded.  At highway speeds, if you take your eyes off of the road for only five (5) seconds, you will travel the length of a football field….while blindfolded.

Why take that risk?

For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law.

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