April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Cell phones rest on the dash of a car traveling down the road

It’s unbelievable that our roadways have gotten more deadly even as traffic has been reduced significantly due to the Covid-19 pandemic. National Safety Council (NSC) estimates show that there were more than 42,000 motor vehicle crashes that resulted in deaths in 2020. Additionally, more than 3,000 people died due to distracted driving accidents in 2019, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 

Because plenty of people have not been driving their vehicles as much as they used to and are only starting to drive again due to reduced pandemic restrictions, they should be reminded how quickly a tragedy could occur when they drive distractedly. April, after all, is the distracted driving awareness month. 

What Exactly is Distracted Driving? 

Broadly speaking, distracted driving entails any activity that takes your focus away from the road when you’re driving. These distractions or activities can be visual, cognitive, or manual. They typically include texting, talking to passengers or someone on your cell phone, video conferencing, watching videos, checking out apps, grooming, eating, changing songs, and reading, among others. Texting while driving, particularly, poses visual, cognitive, and manual distractions because you’ll lose one hand on the wheel and your eyes and mind off the road. 

A study by the NHTSA found that drivers stop looking at the road for about five seconds while driving when reading or sending a text message. This level of distraction may seem negligible, but in reality, it’s similar to driving 403 feet at 55 mph within five seconds while blindfolded. During these five crucial seconds, you may fail to see the stop sign ahead, a car braking in front of you, or a pedestrian crossing the street. By contrast, safe driving requires a driver’s full attention every single second to avoid getting into accidents that can result in injuries or death.  

Protect Yourself and Other Road Users with these Safe Driving Tips

  • Always ensure that kids and pets are appropriately secured in their seats, with appropriate harnesses or belts, before driving away.

  • Pull over in a safe spot if you need to adjust some car controls, talk to someone on your cell phone, answer or send a text message, or tend to a kid or pet. 

  • Restrict cell phone use while driving because even hands-free voice texting or calling could raise the risk of accidents. You can also consider installing a phone app that mutes your texts and calls when your vehicle is moving. Such apps send automatic responses to notify a sender or caller that you are driving. 

  • Try to keep discussions or conversations light when speaking to passengers to avoid potentially intense emotional distractions. 

  • When you’re driving – just drive. Try not to do anything else so you can focus entirely on the task at hand. 

Contact Salam & Associates for a Free Consultation

In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one falls victim to a distracted driving accident or any kind of accident that resulted in injuries or property damage, our experienced personal injury attorneys here at Salam & Associates can help. Our lawyers are licensed in New Mexico, D.C., Michigan, and Texas. Schedule your free case evaluation by calling us at 866-640-8998 or get in touch with us online via [email protected] or www.salampc.com


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