Summer is just around the corner and for most American families that usually means long road trips and vacations. However, summer is also the most dangerous time for travelers. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) came out with statistics recently that 21 of the top 25 deadliest days for teen drivers in particular fall between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Distracted driving has been cited as the top reason for car accidents involving teens followed by speeding, inexperience and additional teen passengers. These factors apply to adult drivers as well. In fact, distracted driving is often referred to as an epidemic in our society today. Distracted driving is not only texting and driving. Any type of activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the roadway or from the act of driving is distracted driving.
Distracted Driving Statistics
According to NHTSA, in 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010. Also,
18 percent of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
Preventing Distracted Driving
There are several steps drivers can take this summer to avoid a distracted driving crash:
• Turn off your cell phone or try not to answer it. If you need to, check your messages when you stop at a rest stop or pull over if you need to make a call or answer a call. Do not text, check your email or browse the Internet while driving. Statistics show that these are the activities that are most dangerous for drivers.
• When you are traveling on vacation, make sure you set the GPS before you begin driving. Do not try to read a map or change your GPS setting when you are driving. If you must do so, pull over.
• Pay attention to the traffic around you.
• Do not eat or drink while driving.
• Limit talking to passengers. A number of distracted driving accidents occur when drivers turn around to talk to passengers.
• Be careful about getting distracted by children in the car.
If a distracted driver injures you this summer, please contact an experienced California personal injury lawyer who will remain on your side, fight for your rights and ensure that the negligent driver is held liable.