The National Safety Council (NSC) has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Each April for the past several years, the NSC, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and other agencies around the country have used Distracted Driving Awareness Month as an opportunity to further publicize the risks of texting, using social media and other distractions behind the wheel.
The problem is a big one. Each year, thousands of motorists are killed and hundreds of thousands are injured in accidents caused by distracted drivers. In Okaloosa County alone, FLHSMV’s data show that there are hundreds of distracted driving crashes each year. In 2015, this included three accidents resulting in fatalities. While cell phones have become one of the primary sources of driver distraction, talking, texting and using social media are not alone in causing dangerous and deadly accidents.
For example, according to the NSC:
- Reaching for moving objects makes drivers 8.8 times more likely to cause accidents.
- Reading makes drivers 3.4 times more likely to cause accidents.
- Talking on the phone makes drivers four times more likely to cause accidents.
- Texting makes drivers eight to 23 times more likely to cause accidents.
- Turning around makes drivers 8.8 times more likely to cause accidents.
Ways We Can All Fight Back Against Distracted Driving
Distracted driving accidents are avoidable. If you want to help in the fight against distracted driving, here are some ideas from the NSC and the Crestview auto accident attorneys at Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A.:
1. Set a Good Example
When you drive, make it a point not to give into distractions. Set your GPS directions and playlist before you go, put your phone out of reach, and take a break if you get hungry or need something to drink. Let your children, family members and friends know that responding to their calls and texts can wait until they get home.
2. Take the NSC’s Distracted Driving Pledge
The NSC offers an online “Just Drive” pledge you can sign year-round. Take the pledge, ask your teen drivers to take it, and ask them to keep it mind each time they get behind the wheel.
3. Learn More about the Risks of Distracted Driving
We all know that distracted driving is dangerous, but many people do not realize just how great the danger truly is. To learn more, you can read:
- Distracted Driving Research from the NSC
- Facts and Statistics from Distraction.gov
- The Dangers of Texting Behind the Wheel
4. Enforce Your Rights as a Victim of Distracted Driving
If you are injured or a loved one is killed in a distracted driving accident, take legal action to enforce your rights and hold the distracted driver accountable. As the victim of a distracted driver, Florida law entitles you to seek financial compensation, and pursuing a claim can be one of the best ways to help prevent similar accidents in the future.
Powell, Powell & Powell, P.A. | Injury Lawyers in Crestview, FL
For more information about how to stand up for your rights after a distracted driving accident, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our attorneys have decades of combined experience helping victims and their families fight for just compensation. To speak with one of our auto accident attorneys in confidence, please call (850) 682-2757 or request an appointment online today.