It's Distracted Driving Awareness Month

It's Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April 1, 2023
Car Accidents

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and encourage drivers to stay focused on the road. With the rise of technology and the constant need to stay connected, prioritizing safe driving practices is more important than ever.

What is Distracted Driving?

It's Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving is any activity that takes your attention away from driving. This includes:

  • texting
  • talking on the phone
  • eating or drinking
  • grooming
  • using a navigation system
  • or adjusting the radio or other controls.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives in 2018 alone.

Distracted driving is a serious problem that affects us all. Whether you're a driver, passenger, or pedestrian, the consequences of distracted driving can be devastating. With this month-long campaign, let's take the time to educate ourselves and others on the importance of staying focused behind the wheel. Here's what you need to know about distracted driving and how you can help make the roads safer for everyone.

Types of Distracted Driving

Let's review the most common types of distracted driving.

Visual Distraction

Visual distraction is when the driver takes their eyes off the road. This can happen when a driver is looking at their:

  • phone
  • smartwatch
  • or even a billboard.

Anything that takes the driver's attention away from the road can be considered a visual distraction. Even a quick glance away from the road can be dangerous, as it only takes a split second for an accident to occur.

Manual Distraction

Manual distraction is when the driver takes their hands off the wheel. This can happen when a driver is:

  • eating
  • drinking
  • smoking
  • or adjusting the radio.

Anything that requires the driver to use their hands can be considered a manual distraction. When a driver's hands are not on the wheel, they cannot react as quickly to sudden changes on the road.

Cognitive Distraction

Cognitive distraction is when the driver's mind is not focused on driving. This can happen when a driver is:

  • daydreaming
  • talking on the phone
  • or having an intense conversation with a passenger.

Anything that takes the driver's attention away from driving can be considered a cognitive distraction. When a driver's mind is not focused on driving, they cannot react as quickly to sudden changes on the road.

Auditory Distraction

Auditory distraction is when the driver is distracted by sounds inside or outside of the vehicle. This can happen when a driver is listening to loud music, talking on the phone, or hearing a siren or honking horn. Anything that takes the driver's attention away from the road can be considered an auditory distraction. When a driver's attention is focused on a sound, they cannot react as quickly to sudden changes on the road.

It is essential to understand the different types of distracted driving so that we can take steps to avoid them and keep ourselves and others safe on the road. By staying focused on driving and avoiding distractions, we can all help make the roads safer.

Teens and Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a leading cause of teen accidents, with cell phone use being the most common distraction. The use of social media while driving has become increasingly prevalent among teens, leading to an even greater risk of accidents. Texting while driving is particularly dangerous, requiring visual, manual, and cognitive attention, taking the driver's focus away from the road.

Many states have implemented laws banning cell phone use while driving, but enforcement of these laws can be difficult. Parents can play a role in preventing distracted driving by setting clear rules and expectations for their teen drivers, such as not using cell phones while driving.

6 Ways to Prevent Distracted Driving

You can take many steps to ensure you're not driving distracted.

1. Put Your Phone Away

One of the biggest culprits of distracted driving is using cell phones. Put your phone away before driving, or use a hands-free device to make calls to prevent this.

2. Plan Ahead

Before driving, ensure you have everything you need within reach, including snacks, drinks, and navigation systems. This will help you avoid reaching for things while driving.

3. Avoid Multi-Tasking

Driving requires your full attention, so avoid doing other tasks while driving. This means no eating, drinking, or grooming while behind the wheel.

4. Take Breaks

Long drives can be tiring, so take breaks every few hours to rest and recharge.

5. Speak Up

If you're a passenger in a car and notice that the driver is distracted, speak up and offer to take over driving duties if necessary.

6. Spread Awareness

In addition to following safe driving practices, you can also spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Share information on social media, talk to your friends and family and participate in local events during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. By working together, we can help prevent accidents and save lives.

What To Do If You Were in An Accident Caused By a Distracted Driver

One of the most prevalent causes of car accidents is distracted driving. If you have been in an accident caused by a distracted driver, it can be a scary and overwhelming experience. Here are some steps you should take if you find yourself in this situation:

1. Seek Medical Attention

The first and most important step after any car accident is to seek medical attention. Even if you feel fine, getting checked out by a medical professional is essential. Some injuries may not be immediately apparent, and it’s crucial to document any injuries you sustained in the accident. This documentation will be vital if you pursue legal action against the distracted driver.

2. Contact the Police

After an accident, it’s critical to contact the police, even if the accident seems minor. A police report will document the details of the accident and provide important evidence if you decide to pursue legal action. Be sure to provide the police with as much information as possible about the distracted driver, including their name, contact information, and insurance information.

3. Gather Evidence

Gather as much evidence as possible at the accident scene if you can. Take photos of the damage to both vehicles and any injuries you sustained. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information. This evidence will be critical if you decide to pursue legal action.

4. Contact a Distracted Driving Accident Lawyer

If you were in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you must contact a distracted driving lawyer specializing in personal injury cases. They can advise you on your legal options and help you navigate the complex legal system. Be sure to provide your attorney with all the evidence you gathered at the accident scene.

5. Pursue Legal Action

If you decide to pursue legal action, your attorney will help you file a claim against the distracted driver’s insurance company. They will negotiate with the insurance company to ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and any other damages resulting from the accident.

Being in an accident caused by a distracted driver can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. However, by taking these steps, you can ensure you receive the medical attention you need and the compensation you deserve. Remember to seek medical attention, contact the police, gather evidence, contact an attorney, and pursue legal action if necessary.

How Can A Distracted Driving Lawyer Help Me?

A distracted driving lawyer can help you in several ways, including:

  • Representing you in court
  • Negotiating with insurance companies
  • and helping you receive the compensation you deserve for any injuries or damages caused by a distracted driver.

How Much Does a Distracted Driving Lawyer Cost?

Hinkle Law Firm works on a contingency basis for personal injury claims. A contingency fee basis means we do not charge you anything unless we win a settlement in or out of court. This fee structure ensures we work hard for your case and that you don't have even more out-of-pocket expenses during a stressful time. We also offer contingency fee schedules for other practice areas, such as:

Contact Hinkle Law Firm Today

If you have been injured by a distracted driver, contact our firm for a FREE consultation.

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