On any road in Connecticut, it is easy to spot distracted drivers. Despite attempts on the part of law enforcement and legislators to educate and penalize drivers for driving while distracted, the problem seems to continue unabated and even get worse.
Some segments of the community – like teen drivers – are more vulnerable to temptation than others, but distracted driving is something that impacts everyone. To combat it, April has been labeled “Distracted Driving Month.”
The objective is to bring greater attention to its dangers in the hopes that people will hesitate before removing their eyes from the road. Despite its good intent, distracted driving is likely to continue and people need to know their rights if they have been in a crash because of it.
What should I know about Distracted Driving Month?
Distracted Driving Month was created by the National Safety Council as it tries to make people aware of the negative consequences for distracted driving. Any activity that removes a driver’s attention from the road can be labeled as a distraction.
These include visual distractions. Checking a device and reading text messages, emails, surfing the web and using apps qualify. In addition, it can extend to interacting with others, checking onboard navigation and rubbernecking an accident.
Manual distractions are also a problem. If a driver is sending a text message, eating, changing the radio, putting on makeup or removing their hands from the wheel for any reason, it counts as a manual distraction. Obviously, not having one’s hands on the wheel can lead to a crash.
A third type of distraction that might not be as clear is being distracted cognitively. Daydreaming, talking to others in the vehicle, talking on the phone – all qualify as removing the driver’s mind from where it should be: driving the vehicle safely.
Statistically, the National Traffic Safety Administration says that every year, around 400,000 people suffer injuries and over 2,800 are killed in a distracted driving crash. Drivers are encouraged to take simple steps including putting their phone out of reach; having the onboard navigation or phone app set to get them to their destination before starting out on the road; leaving the radio alone; making sure passengers know how risky it is to interact extensively while driving; resist the temptation to do several things at once; and to simply pay attention.
The month dedicated to preventing distracted driving is listing all the ways in which people are distracted, why they do it and how best to teach them of its risk. Regardless, the overwhelming odds are that people will continue to drive distracted and put themselves and others in jeopardy of major injuries and fatalities because of it.
Having experienced help can determine if distracted driving caused an accident
Despite the frequency with which drivers are found to be distracted and cause accidents with injuries and death, it is still important to seek professional help that understands the problem, knows how to gather evidence and has an extensive history in a variety of auto accident claims. Hands-on experience can make a major difference in maximum compensation.
Contacting those who focus on their clients, understand what they are facing and use their combined four decades of working personal injury cases can be essential for those who are unsure of what steps to take, whether the insurance offer is sufficient and how they should proceed.
People simply on their way to work, running errands, taking their kids to school or heading for a day of leisure should know the dangers of distracted driving. Pedestrians and bicyclists are particularly vulnerable with children being frequent victims of distracted driving collisions.
With April being Distracted Driving Month, it is unlikely to put a stop to the practice entirely, if at all. After an auto accident, knowing if it happened because of distraction can be fundamental to a successful claim and contacting qualified people to assess the case is imperative.