Have you seen the Faces of Distracted Driving? We're referring to a campaign from the U.S. Department of Transportation: its goal is to raise awareness and reduce the risk of car accidents that are caused by distracted drivers.
Our Joplin, Missouri car accident lawyers understand the dangers that accompany driving while distracted. Sadly, the occurrence of distracted driving accidents has increased over the last decade as more and more technological advances have become available. Nowadays, drivers are checking their email, making phone calls, texting and surfing the Internet while operating a motor vehicle. Here in Missouri, there's no law that says you can't.
The Faces of Distracted Driving campaign consists of a number of 30-second videos from families that have been directly affected by distracted drivers. Some have suffered serious injuries. Others have lost a family member or a loved one. Just last week, the campaign added a new face: Alison Holden of Washington, D.C., a single mother who sustained a traumatic brain injury after she was rear-ended at a stoplight by a driver sending a text. "Distracted driving stole 2 years of my life," Holden says. "It robbed my son of 2 years with his mother. No text message is important enough to risk ruining someone's life."
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stresses the importance of hearing stories like this one. "Alison Holden's experience reminds us that distracted driving crashes don't have to be fatal to have devastating, long-term consequences," LaHood said.
As reports of distracted driving accidents have increased over the past few years, so has the research on this deadly habit. Distracted driving doesn't discriminate: it affects drivers of all ages on our roadways.
• In 2009, approximately 5,500 people were killed in the United States because of motor-vehicle accidents that reportedly involved a distracted driver.
• Approximately 448,000 people were injured in motor-vehicle accidents that were reportedly caused by a distracted driver.
• Of all fatal distracted-driving reports, nearly 1,000 identified the use of a cell phone as the form of distraction.
• Cell phone use behind the wheel contributes 20% to the entire number of distracted driving incidents.
• Teen drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distracted drivers.
• Drivers that use hand-held devices have been shown to be 4 times more likely to be involved in motor-vehicle accidents serious enough to cause injuries.
• Using a cell phone while driving gives you the same reaction time as a legally drunk driver.
These facts demonstrate the need for campaigns like Faces of Distracted Driving. "I thank all of the families of distracted driving victims who have bravely chosen to share their stories of loss with the world," said LaHood. "The response to their heartbreaking stories has been overwhelming and their efforts to build public awareness are helping to save lives. I urge everyone to watch our 'Faces of Distracted Driving' series at distraction.gov and to remember: talking or texting while driving is not worth the risk."
Whether you're tempted to take your mind off of driving, your hands off the wheel or your eyes of the road, just remember the number of tragedies caused by this dangerous habit. Many motorists don't understand the effect that these few distracted seconds have on your road safety. Allowing your focus to be split between driving and any other task greatly increases your chances of causing an accident - and causing yourself (or someone else) serious harm.
If you or a loved one is dealing with a car accident in Pineville, Anderson, Nevada, Neosho or anywhere in the surrounding areas, call Aaron Sachs and Associates at 1-888-777-AUTO for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Attorney meetings by appointment only.