The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a dangerous epidemic in America. Texting bans for all drivers have been enacted in 41 states, the District of Columbia and Guam. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that drivers who text are 23 times more likely to get into a crash than their non-distracted counterparts. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood recently released a message highlighting the dangers of distracted driving. He recommends powering down cell phones completely before getting behind the wheel.

Distracted Driving Statistics

In 2011 alone, there were 3,331 fatalities in traffic crashes involving distracted drivers. Additionally, 387,000 people were injured in distracted driving related crashes. In 2011, 10 percent of all fatal crashes involved a distracted driver. Drivers under the age of 20 are at a particularly high risk for distracted driving. In fact, distracted driving was reported as a factor in 11 percent of all fatal crashes involving drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 years old in 2011.

Distracted Driving Bans in California

• Handheld ban for all drivers
• Ban on all cell phone use for bus drivers (Includes handheld and hands-free devices)
• Ban on all cell phone use for novice drivers (Includes handheld and hands-free devices)
• Ban on texting for all drivers

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving happens when a driver takes his or her attention away from the task of driving. There are three basic types of distractions which include manual, visual and cognitive. A variety of behaviors can fall into one or more of the distracted driving categories. Texting while driving can be a manual, visual and cognitive distraction. Any task that takes a person’s attention away from driving is considered a distraction.

Focus on the Road!

Don’t try to multi-task when you’re driving. It’s a recipe for disaster. You should definitely avoid any task that takes your attention away from the road. Turning off the cell phone is a great way to eliminate a huge distraction in the car. Cell phones aren’t the only thing distracting drivers though. Drivers should also avoid eating meals, grooming, programming GPS systems, reading maps and adjusting their stereos. These distractions need to be handled before one begins driving. If you’ve been injured in a crash involving a distracted driver, contact the experienced team at Harris Personal Injury Lawyers, Inc. for a free consultation.

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