The most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) numbers on distracted driving are sobering. In 2019 alone, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives. The reality is, however, that this number is probably much higher. Distracted driving may not always be accurately reported and, as a result, the number of distracted driving fatalities and accidents is likely to be much greater than numbers currently reflect. Because of the persistent and pervasive problem of distracted driving on U.S. roads, the NHTSA has launched a campaign to bring awareness to and help combat the problem.
The NHTSA’s Campaign Against Distracted Driving
As the NHTSA leads the national U.S. effort to help save lives lost by distracted driving, it focuses on gathering facts and getting other individuals, organizations, and governmental bodies involved in working to keep our roads safer for all. The truth of the matter is that safe driving is impossible if you are driving while distracted.
Distracted driving means that you are operating a vehicle while engaging in any activity that diverts your attention from the task at hand. Some of the most common distracting activities include:
- Talking on the phone
- Talking to passengers
- Eating and drinking
- Applying makeup
- Changing up music
- Interacting with the navigation system
As you may have guessed it, one of the biggest and most dangerous activities involved in the U.S. distracted driving problem is texting while driving. Did you know that either sending or reading a text draws your eyes away from the road for an average of 5 seconds? Doesn’t sound like much, right? If you are traveling at 55 mph, that is the same as driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. Think about how much can happen on the road in that space and that length of time? Accidents happen in a mere moment and can occur all too easily when that moment is you taking your eyes off of the road.
So, what can be done about the distracted driving problem? A good place to start is by spreading the word on how bad the problem is getting. Teens in particular can be effective in spreading the word and leading peers by example. Teens, after all, have become an exceptionally dangerous population of drivers as they are usually inexperienced and are often glued to their phones. Parents should also lead by example in driving free of distractions and should also have frank discussions with their children about distracted driving.
It can be difficult to put away the distractions and focus on the road. In a society that keeps on multi-tasking, it may even seem impossible. Put mechanisms in place to set yourself up for success. Give your phone to a passenger while you drive and appoint them as your designated texter while you focus on driving. These are things we can all do that may literally end up saving someone’s life.
Personal Injury Attorney
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, you do not have to go through this alone. The personal injury team at Hunt Law is here to help you fight for full and fair compensation. Contact us today.