According to a study from the National Safety Council (NSC), there were an estimated 40,000 deaths related to auto accidents in 2016, a 6% increase over 2015, and a staggering 14% increase over 2014. This is the most dramatic escalation in motor vehicle deaths in five decades. Why the increase? What is making our roads so unsafe? The answer is relatively easy to understand – distracted driving.
Distracted driving has become an epidemic. While most drivers acknowledge safe driving should be a priority, they still engage in distracted driving behaviors. In the same NSC study, a startling 64% of survey respondents regularly drove over the speed limit and 47% consistently text and drive. Close to 25% of respondents operate a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. These statistics only begin to quantify some of the many distracted driving causes.
Other distracted driving behaviors include eating, reading, applying makeup or personal grooming, and using a cell phone for any reason. Even new technology within vehicles has caused us to become more distracted behind the wheel. “Infotainment” dashboards and hands-free options aren’t necessarily safe for drivers – drivers still must focus on the device in addition to driving. The only safe option is to completely ignore these distractions, and solely focus on driving.
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and Dale E. Anstine’s personal injury attorneys are encouraging drivers and passengers to stay safe:
1. Just Drive
Cell phones – even hands free or on Bluetooth – can still create a distraction from the task of operating a vehicle. The text can wait. The call can wait. Social media can wait. Set an example for the passengers in your vehicle, and keep your hands on the wheel and off your phone.
2. Speak Up
If you are a passenger in a vehicle where the driver is distracted, speak up. If your driver is on his or her cell phone, eating while driving, or otherwise not paying attention to driving, remind him or her that distracted driving is dangerous.
3. Take the Pledge
Take the pledge to be an attentive driver and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Share your commitment on social media, and have your passengers hold you accountable if you become distracted while driving.
Auto accidents caused by distracted driving are preventable. Help reduce the number of accidents and related injuries by immediately committing to attentive driving and spreading the word to others to do the same.
If you or a loved one are injured, whether due to an auto accident or a personal injury caused by other means, reach out immediately for medical help, and get an experienced accident attorney on your side to protect your rights. Reach out to Dale E. Anstine today to learn more. With offices in York and Gettysburg, our team is proud to protect the injured across the Central Pennsylvania community. Consultations are always free, we’re available 24/7, and there’s no fee unless we win for you.