Even after years of public safety campaigns and issuing tickets for cell phone use, it seems that many motorists could use a reminder on the dangers of texting, talking, and other forms of distracted driving. Once again, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is hosting its annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month this April 2022. The “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” slogan is directed at prevention through pointing out the financial implications, but other details are important for revealing the risks of distracted driving. This risky misconduct causes more than 3,100 fatalities every year and, instead of decreasing, the number of deaths is on the rise.
It may be tempting to grab your phone while behind the wheel, but you are less likely to reach for it when you understand the dangers. While you should consult with a Miami distracted driving accidents lawyer if you are involved in a crash, it is helpful to review some tips in avoiding the temptation.
Why Distracted Driving Increases the Risk of Crashes
There are three adverse implications when a motorist is using a cell phone while driving:
- The person’s eyes are on the device instead of on the road and surrounding conditions, so visibility is lacking. NHTSA uses an analogy to prove this point: A text interaction takes approximately five seconds; traveling at 55 mph, this amounts to driving the distance of a football field while blindfolded.
- It takes dexterity to operate the phone, whether reading a message, typing a text, or interacting on social media. A driver’s hands below on the wheel or operating other essential systems on the vehicle.
- When someone is reviewing or responding to content, thoughts stray over into the subject matter of the message. A motorist may not pay attention to actual threats on the road and cannot react in time to avoid a collision.
Plus, you should keep in mind that there are other forms of distracted driving that do not involve a cell phone. Certain activities also impact a driver’s capabilities in one or more of these three ways, such as:
- Eating and drinking;
- Putting on makeup;
- Adjusting the radio or music device;
- Interacting with passengers or a pet; and,
- Using a GPS.
Tips to Prevent Distracted Driving
The best way to keep from grabbing your phone while driving is to set the ringer to silent and stow it just out of reach. You may still need to access it for emergency reasons. You can also download apps that block calls and texts, and forward an auto-response to the sender. Some apps also feature alerts to parents when teens text while driving.
Get Legal Help From a Miami Distracted Driving Accidents Attorney
For more information on your rights, please call Gerson & Schwartz, PA at (305) 371-6000 or visit us online to schedule a free consultation. We can meet with you at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, FL. After reviewing your circumstances, a car accident lawyer can provide additional details on the legal process.