One Text or Call Could Wreck it All

Summertime in California means sunny beach days, barbecues, and taking part in a variety of outdoor recreational activities. Summertime also means vacationers, tourists, and added traffic on the already crowded roadways. Drivers face a myriad of challenging driving situations these days, and unfortunately, a new traffic safety epidemic has emerged: distracted driving. And it may be the most dangerous.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that in 2010, 3,092 people were killed in car accidents involving a distracted driver. With the prevalence of smartphones, using a cell phone while driving has become one of the most common forms of distracted driving and by far the most dangerous. The National Safety Council issued a report detailing that more than one out of every four traffic accidents is caused by people talking on cell phones or sending text messages. This means that more than 25% of all traffic accidents have cell phone usage to blame! Do you think you can operate your vehicle and use your cell phone at the same time? Think again. According to a study conducted by Carnegie Mellon, driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. Text messaging while driving combines three different types of distraction—visual, manual, and cognitive. You must take your eyes off the road to see your phone, your hands off the wheel to type the message, and your mind shifts away from the task of driving.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood, remarked that “distracted driving is an epidemic on America’s roadways, and we’re doing our part to help put an end to it. Texting and cell phone use while driving is extremely dangerous, and we know simply getting drivers to turn their phones off when they get behind the wheel will make our roads significantly safer.” NHTSA is treating distracted driving as serious an epidemic as drunk driving or not wearing a seatbelt, which is why they have focused closely on how to tackle this ever-increasing problem. NHTSA’s message is straightforward- “One Text or Call Could Wreck it All” – and they are receiving support across the nation to further their important message.

“Decades of experience with drunk driving and getting people to buckle up has taught us it takes a consistent combination of public education, effective enforcement, a committed judiciary, and the collective efforts of local, state, and national advocates to put a dent in the problem,” said LaHood. Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. wishes to further NHTSA’s message and encourage each community to participate in getting the message out. Remember— 3,092 people lost their lives because another driver tried to do two things at once. One text message or one phone call is not worth your life, and it is certainly not worth anyone else’s.

We encourage everyone to take this message to heart and to put away cell phones before the engine is started. If you have been injured due to distracted driving, give Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. a call today for a free case consultation.

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