In the United States, among one of the most virulent problems is distracted driving. In recent years, more than 3,000 people have been killed alone, but many hundreds of thousands more have been the victims of injuries as a result of distracted drivers, or as being passengers of such drivers. The problem has become so serious that even our government has identified and attempted to codify what distracted driving is precisely.
The U.S. government defines distracted driving as any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. This endangers themselves, their passengers, and bystanders. If you’ve ever driven in your car and have been caught texting or sending messages over the phone, those are examples where you were driving while distracted. If you’re driving your vehicle and are doing so while being distracted, it’s no different than driving blind.
Texting, both sending and receiving, is considered the worst distraction because it requires the driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive attention. When sending a text message while driving, your attention is diverted for an average of five seconds. As previously mentioned, at 55 miles per hour, that’s like driving across the full length of a football field blindfolded.
This is a nationwide problem, but individual states are taking matters into their own hands. Massachusetts, for example, enacted the Safe Driving Law in the fall of 2010, which created a new series of violations to crack down on distracted driving, specifically texting. Even though the state committed many resources to this effort, distracted driving remains a dangerous problem throughout the Commonwealth.
A 2015 Erie Insurance survey found that drivers admit to doing all sorts of dangerous things behind the wheel, including brushing their teeth, switching drivers, taking selfies, and changing clothes. The survey also reported that one-third of drivers said they text while driving and three-quarters report seeing others texting while driving.
Teens and young drivers have the highest risk of practicing this unsafe driving behavior. Car accidents are the leading cause of death in 15 to 20 year olds. Ten percent of teen drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in a fatal car crash in 2014 were distracted at the time of the collision, according to the NHTSA. Part of ensuring that young people don’t engage in the behavior starts with older individuals trying to personally engage those people without being totalitarian about it.
What Can Be Done About Distracted Driving
It can be overwhelming to think of how to stop distracted driving, but there are a few steps you can take to make the roads safer for everyone.
Without a doubt, the primary thing that you have to do is ensure that when you drive, make sure that you do not ignore the warnings given in this document. As a whole, distracted driving is a major problem, but it starts with you. If you don’t take the time to avoid using your MP3 player or cellphone while driving, it’s not ever going to get better. Aside from being sure that you yourself don’t engage in distracted driving, you have to make an effort to ensure others aren’t doing it either. If you see your friends doing it, make sure you tell them to stop. If you see people you don’t know on the road doing it, be sure to honk at them and prevent them from engaging in such behavior.
One of the hardest things about such solutions is related to the fact that a lot of these solutions will require people to take initiative themselves. Without a doubt, there is no other way to get that done until people want to better things for themselves.
AVREK LAW FIRM
Even if you are a cautious and diligent driver yourself, you can’t control others driving behaviors. If the worst does happen, please contact Avrek Law Firm at 866-598-5548 or complete the form on this page. We’ll support you every step of the way and treat you with the care and respect you deserve while we work together toward a positive outcome. We offer free consultations and our no fee policy ensures that you do not pay fees or expenses until or unless we achieve a cash settlement.