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Chicago Personal Injury Blog

April Is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

by Jared Staver in Auto Accidents, Personal Injury

Between smart phones and tablets, we carry around virtually the entire expanse of human knowledge right in our pockets. We can talk, text, or video chat with anyone we want at the push of a single button. There’s no denying that this generation has many amazing opportunities, but advances in technology have sadly come at a very steep price for some. In 2013 alone, over 3,000 people died in the US in an accident caused by distracted driving, an epidemic that has been growing as we continue to bring more devices into our lives and our vehicles. National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, or NDDAM, began as part of a campaign to bring awareness and solutions to this devastating issue, so let’s see what we can learn.

Common Distractions While Driving

Driving is one of the few things people do every day that could end in catastrophe at the slightest mistake. It requires our full attention, but since we all do it every day, it’s easy to forget what a big and dangerous responsibility it truly is. Here are some common distractions to avoid while driving:

  • Using a cellphone or similar device for any reason. This means texting, looking up a song or directions, and talking. Even talking on a hands free device takes your mind off of the task at hand: getting to where you’re going safely.
  • Eating or drinking, especially hot liquids that could spill and burn you.
  • Applying make-up.
  • Looking at, and concentrating on, your GPS.
  • Having too many passengers, and paying more attention to them than the road.
  • Having an unsecured pet in the car.
  • Focusing on picking your music or otherwise adjusting settings on your dashboard.
  • And many others.

How to Prevent Distracted Driving

Don’t be a distracted driver. Remember that driving a car on a public roadway is an enormous responsibility and should be treated like one. Don’t use your electronics while driving, have a good idea of where you’re going so you don’t need to be focused on your GPS, don’t let your passengers overwhelm your focus, and be sure to secure all people and possessions in the car so nothing is falling forward and getting in your way or your line of vision.

Do your part. Talk to other people about distracted driving. If you have a friend who texts and drives, talk to them about the dangers to themselves and to the people they are sharing the road with. Don’t call or text your friends and family when you know they are driving, and hang up if you discover that they are. For more ways to spread the word about distracted driving and to get involved in NDDAM visit the National Safety Council’s website at nsc.org.

We know how dangerous distracted driving can be, and have tried our best to cover the topic on this blog. We’ve discussed recognizing and avoiding distractions, selfies while driving, and ranked distracted driving number 1 on our list of top 25 causes of car accidents. For even more information about distracted driving and how to raise awareness, visit distraction.gov. For a harrowing and moving true story about the cost of distracted driving, read Pulitzer-winning journalist Matt Richtel’s book, A Deadly Wandering: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention. It tells the moving true story of a texting while driving crash that claimed two lives in 2006.

If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, you need an experienced attorney. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 to schedule your free consultation.