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Distracted Driving Awareness Month Aims to Save Lives

April 2017

Did you know that thousands of people die every year because of driving distractions? The National Safety Council observes the month of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month in order to bring attention to this extremely serious and preventable problem we are facing. 

Technology has drastically improved our quality of life. Our smartphones and GPS systems help us get where we need to go, call for help when we need it or point us to the nearest gas station. However, it also allows us to do things like make phone calls, send text messages or videos, reply to emails or update social media. All of these things have been proven to increase the risk of a crash. 

The Facts

There is no safe way to use your cell phone while driving. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conducted a survey which found that 13 percent of teens and young adults reported phone usage at the time of a crash or near-crash, while roughly half of these same drivers report regularly sending text messages or emails while driving. 

Using your phone at a stoplight is not safer. A recent AAA study found that people who use their phones while stopped can still remain distracted for up to 27 seconds after they have ended the call or sent the message. 

Hands-free devices do not make you less distracted. However, the North Dakota Safety Council found in a recent poll that 53 percent of drivers think they are making the safe choice by using a hands-free device. The reality is that using a hands-free device while driving still causes enough distraction that drivers end up missing about 50 percent of the environment around them, including red lights, stop signs and pedestrians crossing the street. 

What You Can Do 

  • Create awareness in your household, communities and workplace by getting the message out there. The NSC has created several shareable infographics and fact sheets to raise awareness.
  • Take the Focused Driver Challenge. Make the pledge to drive distraction-free and share it with friends, family and coworkers to let them know that you take attentive driving seriously.
  • Develop good driving habits. Keep your cell phone put away and make sure your radio is at a reasonable volume. Pull over if you need to make a phone call. Remember, it only takes a second of distraction for things to go wrong.

Has Distracted Driving Affected You?

If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a car accident, you should seek legal help. Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben can help navigate the complicated aftermath of a car accident, especially if distracted driving was a factor. Call us for a free, private consultation at 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265.

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