April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Each day in the United States, more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. In fact in 2013 alone, 3,154 people were killed and an estimated 424,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes that attributed to distracted driving.
Over 400,000 Injuries Per Year Due To Distracted Driving
Unfortunately, many drivers engage in a number of distracting activities from talking and texting on their cell phones, to eating, grooming, and even reading. While those distractions are completely avoidable, some distractions are nearly impossible to prevent and instead must be managed.
Here are some tips from the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) that will help you avoid distracting activity while driving.
- Turn it off and stow it. Turn your phone off or switch it to silent mode before you get in the car. Then stow it away so that it’s out of reach.
- Spread the word. Record a message on your phone that tells callers you’re driving and will get back to them when you’re off the road, or sign up for a service that offers this feature.
- Pull over. If you need to make a call, pull over to a safe area first.
- Use your passengers. Ask a passenger to make the call or respond to a text for you.
- X the Text. Don’t ever text and drive, surf the web or read your email while driving. It’s dangerous and against the law in most state. Even voice-to-text isn’t risk-free.
- Know the law. Familiarize yourself with state and local laws before you get in the car. Some states and localities prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones in addition to texting.
- Destination then drive. If using a GPS device, enter your destination before you start to drive. If you prefer a map or written directions, review them in advance. If you need help while driving, ask a passenger to assist you or pull over to a safe location to change your GPS or review your map/directions.
- Secure your pets. Unsecured pets can be a big distraction in the car.
- Mind the kids. Pull over to a safe place to address situations involving children in the car.
- Focus on driving. Multi-tasking behind the wheel is dangerous. Refrain from eating, drinking, reading, grooming, smoking, and any other activity that takes your mind and eyes off the road.
Every time you get behind the wheel, you are at risk of an accident. Following these guidelines will help you minimize the risk of being distracted while driving and keep your full attention on the road.
Personal Injury Attorneys Keeping Distracted Drivers Accountable
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a distracted driver, it is important to learn your options from an experienced Bakersfield personal injury attorney. Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Young Wooldridge, LLP for a free initial consultation.
Photo Credit: NHTSA Traffic Safety Marketing