National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Everyone, take your phone out of your hands and return it to your car mount. You do have a cell phone docking station in place when you drive, right? April is National Distracted Driver Awareness Month, and that means a lot to those of us working at Isaacs & Isaacs. We are a personal injury law firm for car accidents and semi-truck collisions, including truck accidents caused by distracted driving. We’ve seen a lot of lives affected by distracted driving and we know how easily these accidents can be avoided.
The Alarming Reality of Distracted Driving Statistics
Whether it’s to check a text, input directions or find a new song, we’ve all seen drivers check their phones while on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 3,166 lives in 2017, and in 2015 there were over 391,000 distracted driver-related injuries.
Still not concerned?
Think about the last time you watched a football game. It takes the player what feels like ages to make it from one end zone to the other. A car rolling at 55 MPH, however, only takes about five seconds.
If the average text takes about five seconds to type, that means that you could roll the entire length of a football field without taking your eyes off your phone. That equates to 120 yards in which a driver isn’t paying attention to his or her surroundings. In 2015, 551 of distracted driving fatalities were non-occupants (pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.)
Distracted Driving Definition – What Qualifies?
The definition of a driving distraction is when a driver is engaged in another activity while simultaneously operating his or her vehicle. Distracted Driving can range anywhere from texting to eating to changing your radio station. Anything that takes your eyes off the road potentially puts yourself or other drivers at risk. The dangers of texting and driving always outweigh the immediate gratification of answering a text.
Legally, distracted driving is mostly qualified through cell phone use while driving. While these laws vary from state to state, they all have the same agenda: To prevent drivers from taking their eyes off the road.
Almost every state, with the exceptions of Montana, Arizona and Missouri, abides by a strict ban on texting while operating a vehicle. Even Missouri places restrictions upon its texting leniency and limits novice drivers from texting while driving.
While in some states it is still okay to talk on your phone or use GPS navigation, texting and driving laws focus exclusively on the exchange of information that could potentially distract a driver for extended and repeated periods of time.
Know Your Texting and Driving Laws Per State
While this list includes important distracted driving “don’ts” for the states our offices call home, it is not comprehensive. Familiarize yourself with your state’s unique driving laws before hitting the road!
- Kentucky – It is illegal for drivers under the age of 18 to use a mobile device while driving and it is illegal for drivers of all ages to text while a vehicle is in motion. Consequences of violating these laws include monetary fines and the possibility of a three point deduction from the driver’s license.
- Indiana – It is illegal for motorists to text and/or send emails while driving in Indiana. This ban includes reading all forms of mobile messages. Motorists who violate these laws are susceptible to fines up to $500.
- Ohio – It is illegal to use a mobile device to text or use the internet while a vehicle is in motion. It is also illegal to drive with a pet on your lap, so remember to keep your fur-babies safe in their carriers! While penalties vary throughout the state, it is common for violators of these laws to lose two points off of their license and pay up to $250 in fines.
Teen Distracted Driving: The Truth About Teens Texting and Driving
The NHTSA 2015 Distracted Driving Safety Fact Research reports the largest percentage of distracted driving fatalities occurs when the driver is between 15-19. While this puts teens as the most dangerous offenders, a 2013 ATT study indicated it’s actually commuters, coming in at 49%, who are the most likely to text and drive, compared to 43% of teens.
Teenagers learn from example and it’s important to recognize that they grew up during a generation where their parents had access to phones and likely used them on the road. Preventing distracted driving starts by being a good role model.
Solutions to Texting and Driving: Stand Together Against Distracted Driving
There are a lot of things you can do to avoid the temptation of using your phone while driving. It’s not always easy to break a bad habit, but the following list offers a few solutions.
- Listen to Podcasts, Audiobooks and Playlists! – Having a set playlist can help drivers avoid the temptation to change their radio station or flip through their musical selection. Podcasts and audiobooks are entertaining, hands-free solutions to driving without distractions.
- Know Your Car – It’s easy to get distracted when you aren’t familiar with all your car’s features. Fiddling with the radio, messing with the windshield wipers and trying to find the blinker are all bad reasons to take your eyes off the road.
- Finish Your Routine Before You Drive – Shaving, applying make-up and constructing your breakfast burrito are all things you can do before you get in the car. Not only do these seemingly innocent tasks take your eyes off the road, but they also take your hands off the wheel.
- Stand Up for Safe Driving – It’s not always easy to deviate from the norm, especially if you see friends and family use their phones while their driving. But when you think about it, it’s just as easy to point out that keeping your eyes on the road is the safest way to reach your destination.
Be a Part of the Distracted Driving Solution
Are you ready to take a stand against distracted driving? The National Safety Council is taking pledges to end distracted driving once and for all! Challenge yourself and decide how you would finish this statement:
I pledge to not text and drive because…”
Click here to pledge to Just Drive for your safety and the safety of those with whom you share the roads.
Call Isaacs & Isaacs Distracted Driving Accident Lawyers Today
If you or someone you know has been affected by the actions of a distracted driver, you need a car accident attorney you can trust. Isaacs & Isaacs Law Firm has recovered over 1 billion dollars for its clients and has over 25 years of experience serving Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Call 800-800-8888 for your free consultation.
Isaacs and Isaacs, Primary Office
1601 Business Center Ct
Louisville, KY 40299