Right this moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cellphones or electronic devices while driving. This level of distraction will be the cause of over nine deaths today and 1,153 people injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. In an effort to deal with the unprecedented number of deaths associated with distracted driving, the National Department of Transportation and the National Safety Council have declared the month of April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving is considered any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. This can come in the form of:
- Visual distractions, such as taking your eyes off the road while texting, reading or grooming
- Manual distractions, like removing your hands from the wheel to eat, change the radio or program your GPS
- Cognitive distractions, in which you’ve become mentally distracted while driving by distractions like a conversation or attempting to use a voice-to-text feature
Remember that all forms of distractions endanger the safety of the driver, passengers and bystanders. While texting is a known culprit of distracted driving, over 80 percent of Americans report feeling that hands-free devices are safer than using their handheld phone. This is not the case.
Since your brain is forced to focus its attention to the conversation, talking on the phone while driving is an example of a cognitive distraction. Hands-free features in dashboards actually increase mental distraction, and voice-to-text features are often more distracting then actually typing a text.
How to Break the Habit?
We have become accustomed to immediately reacting to visual and audio cues from our devices that divert our attention away from tasks like driving. To avoid these temptations, Hupy and Abraham suggests that you:
- Turn off or silence your cellphone before driving, or go further and place your phone in the trunk or glove box
- Set your navigation system or music playlists before you start driving
- Change your voice mail greeting to alert callers that you are driving and will call back when it is safe to do so
- Spread awareness by asking co-workers, family and friends not to call or text you if they know you’re driving
With these tips we know that you’ll be more likely to arrive safely at your destination. Distracted driving is a choice, and we must choose not to let our devices control our actions. To help spread awareness, get your free "DNT TXT N DRV" bumper sticker from Hupy and Abraham here.
We hope that you don’t have to contact us. But in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one are injured by a distracted driver, please contact Hupy and Abraham at 1-800-800-5678 to receive the compensation you’re entitled to.