April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and it is important that motorists know how to prevent car accidents from happening and show support during this event. Distracted driving is prevalent in the United States. In 2019, 3,142 people were killed in distracted driving accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The National Safety Council (NSC) reported that approximately 700 people sustain personal injuries in distracted driving collisions each day.
The NSC also sponsors the annual event of Distracted Driving Awareness Month and promotes several ways that drivers can participate. Researching facts, spreading awareness, attending online presentations, and sharing information on social media are a few ways that motorists can show support to those affected by distracted driving. Most of all, motorists should learn ways how to prevent these accidents and drive safely.
Drivers who are involved in an accident should seek the assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer.
Which Age Group is Prone to Distracted Driving?
Young drivers are seemingly more vulnerable to distracted driving. In fact, drivers between the ages of 15 to 19 years old are more likely to drive while distracted, and motorists between the ages of 20 to 29 years old are responsible for about 25 percent of all distracted driving crashes, according to data collect by the NHTSA. However, motorists of all ages commit this negligent behavior. A main culprit of distracted driving accidents is cellphone use among all age groups, but there are many other common distractions.
What are Typical Distractions for Drivers?
Any action that takes the driver’s focus off the road is a dangerous distraction. Some common causes of distracted driving accidents include the following:
Smoking: A motorist who smokes will use one of their hands to hold the cigarette, smoke, and discard it. Additionally, a driver might have their focus off the road while fumbling for their cigarettes or lighter. It is best not to smoke while driving.
Objects and pets: Reaching for items in the car is a common cause of distracted driving accidents. Also, rambunctious pets may take all the attention from the motorist. Before driving, motorists should make sure to stow away items to avoid temptations and make sure their pets are safely secured.
Car features: Adjusting the mirrors, seat, radio, heat or cooling system, and other car gadgets are forms of distracted driving. A motorist should get in the habit of making sure their vehicle is ready to drive before they leave their parking space. This includes setting the heat or air prior to traveling as well as presetting music.
Eating and drinking: Many motorists will go through drive-thru locations or bring food and drinks with them; however, they should not eat or drink and drive. If one is planning to get fast food, they should plan to stop to eat.
Navigation devices: Drivers should plan their trips ahead of time. Prior to leaving for a destination, the navigation device should be set. If a motorist has to adjust their route, they should pull over safely and put in the alternate route in their navigation device.
Cellphones: Motorists should put their cellphone on Do Not Disturb mode and stow it away. If cellphone use is required, hands-free options are the best choices.
Passengers: Even talking to passengers can be distracting. Some states limit the number of passengers for new drivers. A motorist has to concentrate on the road, and passengers should respect that.
Rubbernecking: Rubbernecking is when motorists look at car wrecks or other distractions outside of their vehicles. It can be tempting to look at a car accident, but motorists should focus on the task at hand. If it is necessary, a motorist can pull over and call 911 if they see a car wreck.
Daydreaming: Daydreaming can happen to all drivers, and long road trips can cause motorists to take their attention off of the road. Rest breaks can help during long drives.
What are the Types of Distracted Driving?
There are many forms of distracted driving, such as the ones listed above. All distractions can be broken down into different categories. The three main categories include the following:
Visual: This is when the driver takes their eyes off of the road. A common example is looking at an object or scenery.
Manual: A manual distraction is when the motorist takes their hand or both hands off of the wheel. Answering the phone, adjusting the radio, and eating are forms of manual distractions.
Cognitive: This is when the road user’s mind is off of driving. Daydreaming is a type of cognitive distraction.
Evaluating poor driving behaviors, such as distracted driving, is something that all motorists should do. A motorist can avoid a distracted driving collision by preparing ahead for their trip and informing others about the related dangers.
What Should I Do After a Collision?
It is vital that motorists know what to do after a car accident. After a car crash happens, victims should do the following:
- Call 911.
- Get a police report.
- Exchange information with the other driver and witnesses.
- Receive medical treatment.
- Speak to a lawyer.
In order to pursue damages through a personal injury claim, efficient evidence should be collected to prove the other driver caused the car accident injuries and property damage. Some ways to show fault from the other motorist in a distracted driving collision case include the following:
- Admission: In some cases, the driver may admit that they were driving while distracted.
- Testimonies: Witnesses may claim that they saw the other driver was distracted.
- Records: Cellphone records or emails may prove that the other driver caused the collision.
- Videos: Surveillance cameras can be helpful.
- Analysis: Analyzing the car accident scene may show signs of negligence, such as skid marks.
Hiring a lawyer is extremely beneficial after any collision. A car accident lawyer will help their client prove that the other driver caused the collision and subsequent damages.
Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Advocate for Safe Traveling During Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Distracted Driving Awareness Month is an important event, but motorists should practice safe driving all year round. If you were hit by a distracted driver, a Highland Park car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr can help you prove your case. Complete our online form or call us at 732-249-4600 for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, Colonia, Elizabeth, and Newark.