Distracted driving may be the epidemic of a generation. It’s an incredible problem on the roads all over America, and efforts to put an end to it have not had success. It takes lives unnecessarily. It puts people in the hospital after accidents that should never have happened. At the end of the day, it’s very easy to overcome: People just need to pay attention to the road. But that doesn’t happen.
To understand the full scope of the issue, let’s break down some of the key facts:
- The odds that a driver will get into an accident while talking on the phone are four times as high as the odds of an accident when the driver isn’t talking. Contrary to popular opinion, hands-free systems do not reduce this risk. They still make it more likely someone will crash.
- Cellphones have a level of involvement in about a quarter of all traffic accidents. Interestingly, while people often believe talking is safer than texting, the National Safety Council says that 21% of all accidents happen to people while they talk on the phone and only 4% happen while people write or read text messages.
- Workers often face tight deadlines and the need for constant communication, and this can lead to distracted driving on the job. It shows. Car crashes are the leading cause of fatal workplace incidents.
- Some studies have found that teenage drivers get into distraction-related accidents more than any other age group. This could mean that the risk of a wreck goes up around schools and other areas that teenagers frequent.
- Phones do not pose the only threat. Other forms of distraction include adjusting the mirrors, talking to passengers, changing the radio station, looking at a map or a GPS system, or playing music on a phone.
- Many things people assume are safe because of how common they are actually increase the odds of a crash. For instance, even though you may pass dozens of drive-through windows on your way to work, eating behind the wheel can cause a crash. Just because it’s socially acceptable does not mean it’s safe.
Drivers must remain alert and focused on the road. Every time you get in the car, you need to think about nothing but driving. It’s the only way to stay safe.
Of course, just doing your part to avoid distraction may not be enough. Other drivers still make mistakes and cause accidents all the time in New Haven County, Connecticut, and you need to know exactly what legal options you have if you get injured.