Don’t Get Distracted or Don’t Drive

Oct 22

In 2010, police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes totaled to 5,419,000; of these, 1,542,000 resulted to injuries and 32,999 deaths. The more than five million car accidents every year is very minimal compared to the estimated 16,000,000 that actually occur. Why this great disparity? The major reason is because majority of accidents never get reported, since no one gets injured and the damages are minor – requiring only simple repairs or parts replacement so that settlement is easily reached by both at-fault and innocent drivers who rather prefer to save themselves from the inconveniences resulting from filing legal complaints.

With regard to the most common causes of fatal car crashes, both the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council (NSC) agree on alcohol-impaired driving, speeding, not wearing of seatbelt and cell phone use. Despite the laws which ban the use of a cell phone while behind the wheel, and drivers’ understanding of the risks associated with distracted driving, thousands of drivers continue to commit mistakes or make bad decisions while driving; thousands still drive and text or converse with someone over their phone. Worse than these, though, many even commit the crazy mistake of taking selfies and then posting their photo in their social site as they try to keep an eye on the road.

Distracted driving is most common among young drivers. Studies and analyses of car crashes, in fact, show that about 11 teenagers die every day because of cell phone use while driving. Besides cell phone use, a few other of the almost endless list of driving distractions, which take away a driver’s focus on the road, include: looking at a map for directions; adjusting a GPS or a radio; playing the car stereo at full volume; chatting with friends; taking, or having a picture taken; fixing a tie, grooming; drinking and eating; and, lighting a cigarette and smoking.

It is explained in the Schuler, Halvorson, Weisser, Zoeller & Overbeck, P.A. website at shw-law.com why paying full attention to the road and your surroundings is of utmost importance when you’re behind the wheel. A lapse in attention even for just a few seconds is an act of negligence that can result to a crash where people, other than you, can get injured; it can also most likely result to you being fully regretful but facing civil and criminal charges.

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