Officials are kicking off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and they’re working to save lives. Safe driving advocates with the National Safety Council (NSC) are using the entire month of April to get drivers to hang up the phone.Our Gary car accident lawyers understand that these dangerous driving behaviors continue to take the lives of thousands of people each and every year. In 2010, there were more than 3,000 people killed across the nation because of distracted driving. It’s a trend that’s on the rise — and it’s a trend that we’ve got to stop.
According to the State of Indiana, there are three types of distracted driving — cognitive, visual and manual. It is important to note, that not all three types of distracted driving must be engaged to attribute to driver inattention.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), drivers in the state of Indiana are not banned from using hand-held cell phones behind the wheel, but they are banned from text messaging. The problem with these laws is that officers are not able to easily determine if a driver was composing a text (illegal) or dialing a number (legal), which makes it tough to ticket. Far too many drivers are still taking their attention off of the road to engage in both of these activities.
If it’s so dangerous, why hasn’t the federal government made it illegal for all drivers? Currently, passenger car driving behavior falls under the jurisdiction of the individual states, so the USDOT cannot ban it. Congress has considered a number of effective laws to prevent distracted driving, but nothing has passed yet.
Join in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month!
The NSC is asking drivers to:
-Sign a pledge to drive cell free. Sign this pledge and share it with your friends and family members to make sure everyone is on the road to safe driving habits.
-Understand and share the risks associated with distracted driving. Go beyond the distractions from cell phones and text messaging devices and get familiar with the dangers associated with all distractions.
-If you happen to call someone who is driving while they answer, just tell them you’ll call them back when they’ve stopped. It’s a move that could wind up saving their life.
-Get others to join in on National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
-If there’s a newly-licensed driver in your family, make sure you’re setting a good and safe example behind the wheel for them. Talk with them often about the risks of distracted driving as they’re commonly the most frequent offenders.
Still don’t think distracted driving is that dangerous? Give this game a whirl. It’s used to measure how your reaction time is affected by external distractions. Regardless of your results, experts say, you should not attempt to text when driving.
Attorney Burton A. Padove represents personal injury victims. If you or a loved on has been injured in an accident, call (219) 836-2200 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
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Teen Driving Fatalities: Indiana is No. 1, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, February 28, 2013
Indiana Traffic Accidents, Sleep Problems & Drowsy Driving, Indiana Injury and Family Lawyer Blog, January 10, 2013