Even when you are not drunk, there’s still a chance for you to get involved in a road accident. Texting while driving and even talking on the phone continues to be a problem. Authorities are trying to remind motorists of the dangers of using your phone while driving. Yet, many still refuse to put their phones away while driving.
In 2011 alone, National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reported that 3,331 people lost their lives in vehicle accidents that involve a distracted driver. Although specific causes of distraction were not named, cell phones are usually top of the list. Experts claim that cell phone-related accidents are underreported. This could mean that not only hundreds, but thousands of lives are claimed annually for reasons that could have been avoided.
Related: Cell Phone Use In Fatal Car Crashes Underreported
States take action
Concerned groups are maximizing every resource they could get a hold of to spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving. The New York Times published a Pulitzer prize-winning series discussing distracted driving. Since then, most states have prohibited the use of phones while driving. Some, which include the District of Columbia, even banned texting while driving. Meanwhile, 11 states and D.C. required drivers to use hands-free devices if they must talk on phone.
The case of stubborn driving
NHTSA said that using cell phones while driving raises the risk of getting involved in crashes by four times. There have also been several studies that say using hand-free devices is just as dangerous as using handheld devices. What’s even more alarming is the news shared by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The stated that seven out of the 10 drivers they surveyed admitted to using their phones despite being aware of its perils. AAA President and CEO Robert L. Darbelnet said, “It’s time to consider limiting new and potentially dangerous mental distractions built into cars, particularly with the common public misperception that hands-free means risk-free.”
Related: Safety Groups: Hands-Free Devices No Safer Than Hand-Held
Put your phone away
There is a large number of cases that show distracted driving is indeed fatal. However, more and more people find it hard to resist using their phone while behind the wheel. Using smartphones has become a part of most Americans’ lives. It has been ingrained into our everyday routine. This is no excuse to use your phone while driving, however. You need to focus on the road and put your phone away.
As a Kentucky Accident Attorney, I would like to emphasize that nothing beats prevention to securing safety. Twitter and Facebook will survive without us checking them while we are driving. Calls and messages can always be returned once we’ve reached our destination. There’s one important thing that cannot be taken back once lost – our life. Make a choice, risk your safety or put down your phone.