It’s no secret that distracted driving continues to be a problem across the U.S. In fact, every year, thousands of people are killed in car accidents caused by distracted driving, and countless others are injured. Matters get worse during the summer months, especially between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a period of time that many deem to be the 100 deadliest days of summer.
During this time period, traffic fatalities tend to spike. In 2019 alone, more than 3,000 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents, which was a 10% increase from 2018. As if that’s not worrisome enough, a recent study ranked Alabama second on a list of states with the most distracted driving. That study found that drivers in our state spend about 8% of their driving time on their phones, which may correlate to the fact that 5% of Alabama’s traffic fatalities are attributable to distracted driving.
What can be done to stop distracted driving?
This is a big question, but one that needs answered effectively if we hope to save lives. While there’s no answer that’s going to immediately halt distracted driving, we hope that you and your family can implement these tips to help stay safe this summer:
- Put your phone away: This sounds simple enough, but it’s a hard task for many to accomplish. To make it easier on yourself, consider putting your phone somewhere where it’s inaccessible while driving, such as the backseat or in a pocket behind the driver’s seat.
- If you have to use your phone, then stop: We realize that there are going to be times when you have to use your phone. But don’t use it while you’re driving. Simply pull off to the side of the road or stop in a parking lot to do what you need to do.
- Rely on your passengers: Distracted driving isn’t just about phone use. In many instances, drivers become distracted when they try to change the radio, read a navigation device, or look for something in the cabin of the vehicle. Each of these activities takes the driver’s eyes and attention off of the road and increases the chance of an accident. But it’s simple to ask passengers to help with these duties, so please rely on them when you need to.
- Consider a hands-free device: Hands-free devices are readily available and make it easier for you to keep your attention on the road. They’re not as beneficial as foregoing phone use altogether while driving, but they may significantly reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.
- Educate: If you have children of a driving age, then you probably worry about distracted driving more than anyone else. Educate your children about the importance of prioritizing driving when behind the wheel. Share statistics and ensure that they understand the dangers of distracted driving.
Stay safe this summer
Distracted driving, though a major contributor to traffic fatalities, is only one dangerous driving activity that puts motorists at risk. Drunk driving, aggressive driving, and fatigued driving can all place others at risk. We hope that this summer you and your loved ones are able to focus on driving and avoid the risks that plague Alabama’s roadways.
If you or a loved one end up getting hurt in a wreck, though, then remember that law firms like ours are here to help. We know how to build compelling personal injury cases based on distraction, drunkenness, and other forms of neglect, and we diligently fight to protect our clients’ interest. We hope we don’t have to see you in that condition, but if we do, then we’re here to support and advocate on your behalf.