Distracted Driving Kills - Put Down the Phone

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Fellerman & Ciarimboli’s Personal Injuries Warn that Distracted Driving Kills

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has named April Distracted Driving Awareness month. This month, the NHTSA announced the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” distracted driving enforcement campaign. From April 10-15, state and local police will focus on ticketing drivers who are texting or using cell phones while driving.

In a release issued by the NHTS, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Fox, said, “distracted driving kills, and it must stop.” According the NHTSA’s Traffic Safety Facts, released this month, there were 3,154 fatal crashes caused by distracted driving in 2013. 445 of those were the result of cell phone use.

The NHTSA estimates that 424,000 Americans were injured in distracted driver related crashes in 2013. Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all police-reported crashes in 2013 were reported as distraction-affected crashes. A distraction-affected crash is any crash in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash. This can include cell phone use and texting, as well as talking to other passengers, adjusting the radio, applying makeup and even eating. In addition to vehicle occupants, distraction affected crashes also killed 480 pedestrians, bicyclists and other non-occupants.

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that one in four car crashes involves cell phone use. They said that cell phones are a very high degree of distraction and that hands-free phone use in a vehicle is dangerous as well. When talking, drivers can miss seeing half of what’s happening around them, because they are engrossed in conversation. The NSC reported that we really don’t know how the extent of cell-phone related distracted driving crashes, because cell phone crashes are under-reported, as drivers are reluctant to admit the use.

A report released last month by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, based on crash videos of teen drivers, found that distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate to severe teen crashes, which is four times as many as official estimates. Researchers analyzed nearly 1,700 videos from an in-car system, finding that distraction was a factor in 58% of all crashes studied. They found the most common forms of distractions by teens included interacting with passengers and cell phone use. The report suggested that teen drivers using their cell phone to talk, text, etc., had their eyes off the road for an average of 4 seconds in the final six seconds leading up to a crash.

According to the NHTSA, teens were involved in 963,000 crashes in 2013, which resulted in 383,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths. As parents, we encourage you to educate your children on the dangers of distracted driving, cell phone use and texting while driving. Be a good role model for young drivers and avoid all distractions while driving.

Ten Tips to Help Prevent Distracted Driving:

  1. Make any vehicle adjustments, such as radio, GPS, mirrors, etc. before pulling out.
  2. Never use your cell phone when driving. If you need to make or take a call, pull off the road into a safe spot. Pledge to drive cell free.
  3. Never text or use other mobile devices while driving.
  4. Do not try to read directions or other materials when driving. Pull over in a safe spot to read directions or check a map.
  5. Do not get distracted by passengers in your vehicle. (Limit the number of passengers, this is especially important for young drivers)
  6. Avoid eating and drinking while driving.
  7. Secure lose objects before driving.
  8. Be sure to appropriately secure children and pets before driving.
  9. Do not try to apply makeup, comb hair, etc. while driving.
  10. Be sure to fully focus on the road at all times.

Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli Law Firm

If you or a loved one have been injured in a distracted driving crash, texting and driving crash, or another type of vehicle crash, call the Philadelphia, Wilkes-Barre, and Scranton car accident lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli today for a free consultation. Call 215-575-9237 for our Philadelphia office or 570-714-HURT for our Wilkes-Barre office.

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