If you’re texting, you’re not driving. This is the message put out by The U.S. Department of Transportation about the dangers of distracted driving. A visually shocking new video shows exactly what happens when a driver takes their eyes off the road.
According to the DOT, 27 percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes are in their twenties. In 2012, more than 3,000 people were killed in accidents from distractions and about 421,000 people were injured. If you’re a parent this should scare you. Even if your young adult or teen is disciplined enough not to text and drive, what about the people they are riding with? A single momentary distraction such as sending or receiving a text message can cause a lifetime of devastating consequences not just for the driver but for their passengers and other drivers and pedestrians.
April is distracted driving awareness month. At Shapiro & Appleton we have long been aware of this preventable yet deadly problem. Our Virginia (VA) personal injury lawyers have taken part in the “End Distracted Driving Program” where we visit local high schools and talk to students about the deadly consequences of texting and driving and the affect these often fatal accidents have on the families who are left behind. In addition to the program we have also written an original in-depth report that details the factors leading to distracted driving which is one of the most common elements of car accidents in the United States.
Despite all the information available people continue to tempt fate by texting and driving. A study found that 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit they have had long, multi-message texting conversations while driving. But distracted driving doesn't necessarily involve just a cellphone; it can include eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using the navigation system and even adjusting music.