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April is Distracted Driving Month

Being a member of traffic regardless of whether or not you are driving or riding something tends to feel dangerous from time to time. There are many people who have phobias of being involved in accidents no matter how impossible that is in certain scenarios. In reality, the possibility of being involved in an accident is quite high because of the sheer amount of factors involved. There is a lot that can go wrong in any given second. To make matters worse, a lot of those things are typically caused by distracted drivers.

About Distracted Driving

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Distracted driving is perhaps the biggest issue among contemporary drivers because it causes easily preventable accidents, property damage, injuries, and deaths. The very term distracted driver seems like it should not exist, because how come they have allowed themselves to be distracted? Isn’t driving dangerous and challenging enough already? Why mix in other activities that take away the attention from it? The problem is widely spread throughout the globe, and yet not everyone is doing the most to combat it. In the USA, there are efforts to crack down on it.

One state that is particularly keen on lowering the number of distracted driving accidents is Georgia, especially the city of Atlanta. Drivers in Georgia already know that law enforcement cracks down on distracted driving throughout the year, especially the widespread texting and otherwise using a phone while driving. The efforts are so important as a matter of fact that a whole month is dedicated to it. Did you know that April is National Distracted Driving Month?

This awareness month was created to highlight the dangers of distracted driving and open discussion among motorists. It was also created to encourage motorists to avoid distractions by highlighting the penalties for distracted driving on roadways across the United States. It is a nation-wide awareness effort, not just a thing specific to Georgia, because the dangers of distracted driving concern all of us.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving is an ongoing problem across the US. Distractions are among the leading causes of accidents, including those causing injuries and deaths. The NHTSA suggests more than 3,000 people die each year in distracted driving-related accidents. Across the US, more than 400,000 people are injured each year. In 2019, there were 43 auto accident deaths in Georgia caused by distracted driving, and many others where involved parties were seriously injured.

Most distracted driving campaigns often focus on texting and phone use, but there are many ways that drivers can become distracted. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists three primary types of distractions:

  • Visual: These distractions are anything that takes a drivers’ eyes off the road. This includes texting, looking around, looking at a phone or GPS, or looking in the backseat.
  • Manual: Manual distractions are behaviors that take your hands off the wheel. This includes holding a cell phone, reaching into another seat, eating and drinking, or fidgeting with knobs or GPS devices.
  • Cognitive: Cognitive distractions occur when your mind is focused on something other than driving. Maybe you are angry, sad, or frustrated about something. As you stew over your emotions, your mind is not focused on the road and potential dangers. Also, behaviors like talking to passengers or answering a phone call can be enough of a mental distraction to be dangerous.

While texting is the most common and dangerous form of distracted driving, you can see that there are many ways that drivers can become distracted and, therefore, become dangerous to themselves and others on the road. Good drivers seem overly cautious for a good reason and they do not respond well to distractions especially from the passengers they are responsible for.

Staying Safe During Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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Want to stay safe and use Distracted Driving Awareness Month as a tool to talk to your family about safe driving habits? The NHTSA recommends talking about, and doing, the following:

  • If you must send a text message, pull over. It is never safe to text while operating a moving vehicle.
  • If you have a passenger, you can designate them to text on your behalf while driving.
  • Never scroll through apps or social media while driving. Even if you are stopped at a red light, this is dangerous behavior.
  • Remind teenage drivers that texting while driving is illegal in Georgia. There are strict consequences for violating this law.
  • If you are riding with a driver who is distracted, encourage them to stop.
  • Join the NHTSA pledge not to drive while distracted.

If you are involved in a distracted driving-related accident, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. A personal injury lawyer firm in Atlanta, such as The Embry Law Firm, can help you determine the best options for insurance or personal injury claims.

It is especially important to contact a lawyer if you are injured due to another driver’s negligence. In these cases, you may be eligible for a hefty compensation. A distracted driver should never be the reason why you suffer, so make sure to get in touch with the professionals who have seen it before. As soon as you are cleared to leave the scene, provided that you do not need immediate medical attention, call a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases.

Conclusion and Takeaways

Traffic accidents will continue to happen regardless of what month it is. This is the reality of the modern way of life where vehicles and driving are the dominant factors of both leisure time and business. While April seems to be the best time of year to raise awareness to distracted driving, the number one cause of preventable, unnecessary accidents, the efforts towards a solution do not stop there. Talking about a problem should not stop until things turn for the better, and there needs to be more attention coming the way of distracted driving year-round. If everyone does their part, no longer will people need to suffer from as many traffic accidents.

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