Distracted driving is a problem that only seems to keep growing in Texas. According to recent findings from the Texas Department of Transportation, “driver inattention” contributed to 70,480 crashes statewide in a single year. This includes 1,503 crashes with suspected serious injuries and 250 fatal crashes.
To help combat the problem of distracted driving, road safety advocates have designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Keep reading to learn more about distracted driving and what you can do to keep yourself and others safe on the road.
The Definition of Distracted Driving
Distracted driving is when drivers aren’t fully engaged with what they’re doing behind the wheel. This is extremely dangerous because driving requires quick reflexes, snap judgments, and situational awareness. If a driver is distracted, they’re much more likely to be involved in an accident.
There are three main kinds of driving distractions:
- Manual distractions cause a driver to take their hands off the steering wheel
- Visual distractions cause a driver to take their eyes off the road
- Cognitive distractions take a driver’s focus off the act of driving
Many common driving distractions fit two or all three of these categories. Texting while driving, for example, requires a driver to take one hand off the wheel, take their eyes off the road, and focus on other things. It’s no wonder that distracted driving is such a common factor in car accidents.
What Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month?
The National Safety Council (NSC) and other road safety organizations have designated April of every year as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During April, the NSC and other groups aim to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving while encouraging them to be more aware of potential distractions. The goal is to make the public more aware of distracted driving and get drivers to change their habits.
How to Get Involved
There are many ways you can get involved in Distracted Driving Awareness Month. At the individual level, you can take the “Just Drive Pledge” and commit yourself to driving without distractions. The NSC also encourages people to ask their city, county, or local government to make a proclamation during April asking drivers to avoid distractions.
In addition, the NSC has promotional tools available to help you spread the word about the dangers of driving while distracted. Finally, you can also donate to the NSC or other groups to support their mission.
Try the Multitasking Quiz
One way to learn more about distracted driving is to take the NSC’s multitasking quiz. This short test asks drivers about common distracted driving myths, then answers them with sobering statistics about just how dangerous distracted driving can be.
How to Talk to Teens About Distracted Driving
Teenagers are among the drivers who are most likely to drive while distracted. It’s important that parents talk to them about how dangerous distractions can be. Here are a few tips about talking to teenagers about distracted driving:
- Set aside some time to talk to your child when they aren’t busy with dinner, homework, or other activities.
- Have a plan before you begin the discussion.
- Approach the topic from a place of concern and love. You don’t want to sound like you are lecturing your child.
- Stay calm during the discussion, as getting angry or upset will only backfire.
- Use real-world examples when appropriate. It’s also a good idea to talk about specific habits or behaviors you’ve seen your child or their friends doing.
- Be patient. If you don’t get through during the initial discussion, end it and try again at a later time when your child might be more receptive.
Let your child know if their friends text while driving or otherwise engage in distracted driving behaviors. If your child is harmed, a distracted driving accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ can help.
Injured in a Car Accident? Contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ Today
Have you been injured in an accident with a distracted driver? If so, contact The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian™ today for a free initial consultation with a car accident lawyer In Houston. An experienced Houston accident lawyer can discuss your legal options for pursuing compensation for the losses you’ve suffered.