As a society, we have become accustomed to technological innovation, and we readily embrace the role that our various gadgets play in making our lives more convenient and enjoyable. However, when operating an automobile, the use of electronic devices such as cell phones, Mp3 players and GPS navigation systems can distract you from your primary task of driving, putting you and everyone else on the road in serious danger. Most of us understand that driving while distracted is frowned upon, and 43 of our 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands currently have laws banning their drivers from texting or using electronic devices behind the wheel. Yet, many possess only a surface-level understanding of these issues, with no concept of just how serious the risks of distraction actually are.
April 1st marked the beginning of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In an effort to increase national public awareness and understanding related to distracted driving car accidents, the U.S. Transportation Secretary has announced the launch of the Department of Transportation’s first-ever national advertising campaign on combatting distracted driving. Advertisements using the catchphrase U Drive. U Text. U Pay. will run for an eight day period between April 7th and April 15th, being disseminated via television, radio, and digital media sources. This campaign will coincide with a national law enforcement crackdown on distracted driving. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
In 2012, the most recent year in which data was available, approximately 421,000 individuals were injured in motor vehicle accidents involving a distracted driver, representing a 9% increase from the 387,000 injured in 2011. Studies from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) have found that performing visual-manual subtasks, such as texting, take a driver’s eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds at a time. If one is traveling on a highway, that amount of time can be the equivalent of driving the length of a football field blind. With the rapidity of advancements in technology, it is likely that injuries will continue to rise unless public education is made a priority. The Transportation Secretary hopes that this $8.5 million national campaign is the first step in placing distracted driving awareness on par with other Department of Transportation’s efforts, such as their past initiatives to curb drunk driving and encourage seatbelt use. (Distraction.gov)
In the case of distracted driving accidents, there is little you can do to prevent reckless and negligent actions by other drivers; what you can do, is seek an experienced and proven legal team to get you the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered a serious injury due to a traffic accident, call our lawyers for a free consultation to explore your legal options.