Distracted Driving Awareness Month is upon us

Distracted Driving Awareness Month began April 1. It is the National Safety Council’s way of trying to get drivers to pay more attention to what’s going on around them when operating their vehicles. The government reports that 431,000 people were injured in distracted driving traffic accidents last year and 3,170 people were killed. Another horrifying statistic is that 10 percent of drivers ages 15 to 19 years old were distracted at the time that they were involved in fatal car accidents.

Many drivers erroneously believe that using a hands-free mobile device is safe — 80 percent of drivers, in fact. However, there are over 30 research studies that have found that a driver’s brain is distracted even when he or she is using a hands-free device.

One part of the message that the NSC wants to get out to the public is that your vehicle’s infotainment systems are not safe to use while driving. Over 53 percent of drivers believe that these systems that are installed by the car manufacturer are safe to use. The technology in a vehicle, according to the NSC, “should prevent crashes, not increase their likelihood.” Those who do use these features or mobile devices don’t see as much as 50 percent of their surroundings.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you have a right to seek compensation for your injuries and losses. A Pennsylvania personal injury attorney can help you learn more about your legal options, which may include filing a lawsuit against the driver and other responsible parties.

Source: cars.com, “Your Attention, Please: April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month,” Matt Schmitz, April 14, 2016

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