April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is a growing problem on our roadways. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, 3,328 people were killed in distracted driving crashes in 2012 alone.
Distraction.gov, the official U.S. Government website for distracted driving, reports that the youngest and most inexperienced drivers are most at risk, with 16% of all distracted driving crashes involving drivers under the age of 20.
There are three types of distraction experienced while driving. Manual (taking your hands off the wheel), Visual (taking your eyes off the road) and Cognitive (taking your mind off driving). Experts say texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distraction, because it involves manual, visual and cognitive distraction simultaneously.
According to AAA, cell phone use is the most common source of distraction for drivers. They warn that sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field, blindfolded.
The statistics are alarming. At any given moment during daylight hours, over 800,000 vehicles in the U.S. are being driven by someone using a cell phone. And using a hands-free device offers no safety benefit for drivers, say the experts at the National Safety Council. They recommend that any cell phone use at all be avoided during driving.
During the month of April, the California Highway Patrol and local police officers will be cracking down on people talking on cell phones or texting while driving throughout California.
The attorneys at Owen, Patterson and Owen have been helping car accident victims for more than 37 years. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact us at 800-676-5295 for a free consultation.
View other blog posts about distracted driving.