Thousands of Americans are killed and hundreds of thousands more are injured each year because of driver distraction, and as mobile devices such as smartphones increasingly play a role in our daily lives, ongoing education about the dangers of distracted driving is crucial.
Because April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, now is as good a time as any to highlight safety issues regarding driver distraction.
Some Key Facts That Alabama Drivers Should Keep in Mind
- Texting is known to be the most dangerous form of driver distraction because it requires the driver's visual, manual and mental attention.
- Research has shown that drunk driving and texting while driving can be equally as dangerous.
- Alabama law prohibits texting while driving.
- On average, eight people die and 1,161 people are injured each day in the United States due to driver distraction.
- Of all drivers aged 15 to 19 who were involved in fatal accidents, 10 percent were distracted when the crash occurred.
- In 2014 driver distraction led to injuries to an estimated 431,000 people and death to 3,179 people nationwide.
- On average, texting takes a driver's eyes off the road for five seconds, enough time for a vehicle traveling at 55 miles per hour to cover a distance of 100 yards.
Texting Is Only One Form of Driver Distraction
The reality is that distracted driving takes many forms. Grooming, eating, drinking, adjusting the radio, talking to passengers, using a GPS device, watching a video, emailing -- these distracting activities can all lead to accidents.
What drivers should understand is that safely operating a motor vehicle requires one's full attention, and using a hands-free device is not the answer. For more on that, please see our previous post on hands-free versus handheld devices.
For more on seeking compensation for medical bills and other costs in the aftermath of a car accident, please see The Sapp Law Firm's Alabama auto accident overview.