Distracted driving has become almost synonymous with using your smartphone while behind the wheel – the infamous “texting and driving”. In reality, distracted driving can be something as simple as talking to a passenger, turning the volume up while your favorite song is played or having your drink spilled on your lap.
There are so many ways in which a driver can be distracted that it’s hard to avoid any scenario where you might have to divide your attention and not be 100% focused on the road. It’s all about the risks you are taking when engaging in a certain activity besides driving. It’s clear that the level of risk you are exposing yourself and others depends on different factors, including your driving experience, your health, and the traffic conditions.
Statistics on Distracted Driving
According to reports from the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,) statistics in the US show that distracted driving is often underreported and it might have a bigger role than we think in causing car accidents:
- Estimates show that cell phone use was involved in about 27% of the crashes in 2017
- There were 3,477 fatalities and 391,000 people injured in car accidents that involved distracted driving
- Teenagers have a crash rate three times bigger than older drivers
- In the teen category of drivers, distracted driving is the cause of over 50% of the crashes
As you can see, the numbers speak for themselves. Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents. It should be taken seriously by any driver, particularly by teen drivers or those with little experience behind the wheel.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving
Driving preventively and always focusing on the road while behind the wheel is a responsibility for any driver, as they can put themselves in danger, but also other motorists or pedestrians.
If you want to prevent accidents caused by distracted driving, you should follow these guidelines:
Only use your cell phone if there is a real emergency. You can use certain apps to make your phone display fewer notifications while the car is on the move/and only let through important calls. Parents of teen drivers can control their cell phones through road safety apps.
Control the level of activity and noise inside your car when you’re driving. Ask the passengers politely to reduce the noise levels and avoid engaging with you in conversations while you’re driving. Children should also be taught to let the driver focus on the road and be calm.
Don’t do any extra activities when driving: smoking, eating, drinking, searching for a radio station, etc. If you need to do something like that, just pull over and continue the trip when you’re done.
Distracted driving is dangerous for any category of drivers. Taking this issue seriously can reduce the incidence of car accidents and protect your life and others’.
Have You Been Injured?
If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, then you have the right to file a claim for compensation. Get in touch with a St. Louis car accident lawyer and let them represent you while you focus on your recovery.
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