Are you guilty of distracted driving? If you look around, chances are you have seen drivers using their phones behind the wheel. Many people use their phones while driving out of habit. While it is tempting to do so, even looking down for a split second could have dangerous consequences and put your life and others at serious risk.
Tragically, every year, distracted driving kills more than 3,000 people and injures another 300,000.
In honor of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Attorney Steve Floyd and NBC 12’s Alabama Live host Tonya Terry discussed important statistics and information you need to know to be safe on the roads.
What Is Distracted Driving?
Simply put, distracted driving is anything that takes your focus off the road ahead. When you hear distracted driving, many people immediately think of texting while driving. While this is a major culprit, as Steve explained, there are many other causes including using a phone to go on social media, talking on the phone, even adjusting a phone’s GPS.
But your phone is not the only cause. Eating and drinking while driving, adjusting radio controls, even talking to passengers are all considered distractions.
How Much Does Distracted Driving increase Your Risks?
You may think that taking your eyes off the road is no big deal, but your risks for being in an accident significantly increase when you are distracted.
- Texting & driving increases the risk of a crash 23x.
- Those who use cell phones while driving are 6x more likely to be involved in a crash.
That’s why it is important to think twice before sending a text or giving a friend a call because your attention is diverted from the task at hand, and it is statistically proven to increase your risks.
How Many People Admit to Distracted Driving?
Now, we know the risks of distracted driving, and even though the majority of people realize it is a serious issue, they are not changing their ways.
In fact, an AAA study found that although nearly 90% of drivers surveyed agreed distracted driving is a major problem, 45% reported reading a text and 34% reported sending a text while driving in the month before the survey.
But why are so many people still using their phones, even though they are fully aware of the dangers?
The answers reveal how cell phones have become a major part of daily life, and the need to be connected and entertained 24×7. According to the study, the main reasons people use their phones while driving are:
- Using a cellphone has become a habit
- They want to stay in touch
- They are bored
Are There Laws to Prevent Distracted Driving?
With distracted driving being such a serious issue, you may wonder if there are laws banning texting while driving. Alabama currently has a no texting while driving law in place, but it’s difficult to enforce as it is hard to prove a person was using their phone to text. Alabama legislators are currently working on passing a bill that would make it illegal to use a phone while driving.
What Can You Do to Prevent Distracted Driving?
Regardless of if the bill passes, it’s important to make an effort to avoid distracted driving every day. Steve explained these helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Keep your phone in your glove compartment
- Set up music or a GPS before driving
- If you need to make a call or text, safely pull over if possible
- Think of driving time as a quiet time to focus on the task at hand
- Encourage friends and family members to stop driving distracted and call them out when they do
As Steve said, “there will be plenty of time to catch up when you reach your destination,” and it’s important to stay focused and safe when driving. Tonya agreed by stating “no text or call is worth being in one of these accidents.”
Your Hometown Injury Attorneys Are Here to Help
If you or a loved one are seriously injured in a distracted driving accident that was not your fault, call the experienced Montgomery Car Accident Attorneys at Floyd Hunter at 334-523-8150.
When you call, you’ll receive a FREE case evaluation by an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer. There is never an attorney’s fee due upfront and we don’t get paid until you do. It’s that simple.
We will fight to protect your right to the fair insurance settlement that you deserve for your car accident claim. Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law for a Free Legal Consultation at 334-523-8150.
Call Floyd Hunter Injury Law, because the right lawyers make a real difference.