April is devoted to increasing awareness about the dangers of distracted driving
Despite repeated warnings about distracted driving, many drivers still don’t pay attention and often cause serious distracted driving accidents. That’s why April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Connecticut and other states across the nation.
“It has become all too common to see people driving while looking at their phones,” said Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner Joseph Giulietti, according to a report by Connecticut Insider. “People know that texting and driving is extremely dangerous and illegal, but they continue to do it anyway. These habits are putting motorists and passengers, pedestrians, bikers, and all road users at risk. Every driver in Connecticut has a responsibility to drive safe.”
Distracted driving statistics
In recent years, distracted driving has become one of the leading causes of car accidents nationwide, according to End Distracted Driving, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about the problem that plagues our nation's roads and highways. EndDD.org was founded by Joel Feldman, whose daughter was killed by a distracted driver while crossing a street.
“I can’t bring my daughter back, but I can talk to kids,” Feldman said in an interview with NPR. “I’m very, very fortunate talking to some wonderful kids across the country, and it’s the young who are going to change how we’re going to drive.”
The sheer number of distracted driving accidents and fatalities in recent years is staggering. According to accident data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some of the most startling distracted driving accident statistics include:
- Every year, about 400,000 people get hurt in car accidents involving distracted drivers.
- About 3,100 people are killed in car accidents caused by distracted drivers each year.
- 58 percent of car accidents involving teen drivers involve distracted driving.
- 27 percent of all motor vehicle accidents involve drivers using a cell phone.
- 7 percent of fatal car accidents are caused by distracted drivers.
Understanding the different types of distractions
Driver distractions are often categorized into three primary categories:
- Visual distractions – Any activity that requires a driver to take their eyes off the road. Examples include looking at the screen of a cell phone, self-grooming, and rubbernecking.
- Manual distractions – Any activity that requires a driver to take their hands off the steering wheel. Examples include eating food, adjusting the rear-view mirror, handing something to a passenger in the car while driving, and holding a cell phone or other electronic device.
- Cognitive distractions – Any activity that takes the driver’s mind off the act of driving. Examples include strong emotions (e.g., anger, frustration, sadness), talking to someone on a cell phone, texting, and chatting with passengers.
Road safety experts note that texting and driving creates a visual, manual, and cognitive distraction for the driver. This is why Connecticut and many other states have laws prohibiting texting when operating a motor vehicle.
Talk to a car accident lawyer today
If you were injured or a loved one died in a Connecticut car accident, make sure you fully understand your legal rights. Make sure you talk to an experienced car accident attorney so you can put yourself in the best position to recover the compensation you need and deserve.
At the Vishno Law Firm, our dedicated legal team has years of experience successfully handling complex personal injury cases throughout Connecticut. As a result, we’re familiar with the state’s rules and regulations and understand what it takes to build winning cases that get real results.