Just this morning on my way to work, I watched a young teenage driver texting on her phone while driving. However, the texting while driving was not what shocked me the most. What shocked me the most was the fact that this teenager was texting with both hands while driving. I can only assume that while her eyes and hands were on her phone, the entire car was being operated by her knee. Needless to say, I switched lanes to provide as much space between us as possible.
It’s no surprise that people use their phones while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seventy one percent of teens and young people admit to having sent a text message while operating a motor vehicle. Furthermore, seventy eight percent of teens and young people admit to having received text messages while driving. Distracted driving has become a theme among accident victims in Florida. With technology increasing each day, it isn’t difficult to understand how distracting a cellular phone can be. Between changing the song on your I-phone or sending a text to a friend, drivers are taking their eyes off the road and onto their phone.
According to statistics released by the US Government’s Website for distracted driving, the number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes in 2012 was 3,328. Moreover, 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. Five seconds is the average time a person’s eyes are off the road while texting; this is enough time to cover the length of a football field! As in most cases, statistics do not lie. Distracted driving is quickly becoming one of the biggest reasons for auto accidents.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PREVENT DISTRACTED DRIVING
It’s highly unlikely that distracted driving will ever be completely eliminated, especially with how tempting it is to check your cellphone on a long drive. However, the first step to limiting the number of distracted drivers is to make a personal covenant not to use your phone while driving. With most new cars being equipped with Bluetooth capabilities, drivers should take advantage of these types of devices. If your car does not have one, you should invest in a blue tooth yourself, which could be the only investment you will ever make that can truly save your life. If you’re expecting a very important text or call, pull to the next stopping area to check your phone. No call or text is worth losing a life over.
Aside from making a personal decision to yourself, you should also be very cautious of distracted drivers around you. It is not hard to spot someone who is using their phone while driving; just look for the driver who has his head face down. When you come across a distracted driver, give them an appropriate amount of space in order to prevent any collisions with their vehicle. You should also navigate your car to the safest area and contact local police. No one likes being the person who tells on another, but a phone call under these circumstances may be what it takes to save someone’s life.
Lastly, statistics show that drivers in their 20s make up twenty seven percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes. Thus, you should advise your children, friends and family of how dangerous it is to use their phones while operating a vehicle. Cars are no joke so you shouldn’t treat them as such. Next time you are driving, refrain from looking at your phone!
CONTACT BAY AREA DISTRACTED DRIVING ATTORNEYS
If you have been involved in a car accident due to the negligence of a distracted driver, contact the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free evaluation of your case. Dolman Law has a team of experienced and aggressive attorneys who advocate for the rights of injured motorists on a daily basis.
DOLMAN LAW GROUP
800 N. Belcher Road
Clearwater, Florida 33765