April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

A close up of a man's hands using a cell phone to text while he is drivingThis month marks National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in America. The attorneys at Shaw Cowart would like to take the opportunity to revisit some of the major sources of distraction and encourage all our readers to take steps to eliminate distractions behind the wheel.

Distracted Driving Remains a Problem

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a few thousand people are killed as a result of distracted driving accidents every year. Hundreds of thousands more people are injured because of distraction. Some of the most common causes of these wrecks include:

  • Sending, reading, or typing a text message
  • Talking on a phone, dialing a phone, or looking at the screen to hang up or put someone on speaker
  • Using or looking at the phone for any reason
  • Using a vehicle’s navigation system or other screens and controls built into the dashboard

Electronic devices are so much a part of modern life that it’s almost not worth mentioning. Nonetheless, their constant presence does not negate the fact that they are dangerous when a motorist uses them behind the wheel. According to AAA, taking your eyes off the road for more than two seconds doubles your crash risk. Even if you think you can sneak a quick peek at your phone, doing so puts yourself and other road users at risk.

Sources of Distraction That May Surprise You

It’s impossible to overstate the hazards posed by electronic device use while driving, but that does not diminish the fact that other things can be equally distracting:

  • Thinking about an approaching deadline, a meeting, an exchange with a coworker, or work projects
  • Thinking about things you need to do, appointments, and errands
  • Breaking up a fight between children in the backseat
  • Reaching for something that has fallen to the floor
  • Gazing out the side window
  • Becoming preoccupied with what you see in the rearview or side mirrors
  • Daydreaming
  • Getting lost in something you’re listening to on the radio
  • Staring at pedestrians or at something happening off the roadway

Avoid all forms of distraction and encourage friends and loved ones to do the same.

Help From Experienced Law Advocates

In Austin, Texas, the experienced lawyers at Shaw Cowart are here to help you decide what to do next. If you or a loved one has been injured in a crash caused by a distracted and careless driver, we may be able to help. To learn more, please call our team at 512-499-8900.