Despite the Hands-Free Driving Law that was passed in June of 2018, you likely still encounter people with one hand on the wheel and the other hand on their phone. Adding to the problem are newer automobile features like dashboard infotainment systems and even voice command technology. Just one second of not paying attention is all takes to change a life forever.
More than 40,000 people were killed in motor vehicle fatalities in 2018. While April is designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month, it’s important we practice safety all year around and understand the severity of the problem responsible for 11% of all car accidents leading to fatalities, unnecessarily claiming nearly 4,000 lives each year.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates over 800,000 vehicles are being driven by someone using a hand-held cell phone at any given time. With the average time to read a text message at approximately five seconds, if you are in a car traveling 55mph (average speed in the USA is 55 mph), you are covering several hundred feet without your eyes on the road.
Sheeley Law urges you to drive carefully and help spread the # JustDrive message. Below are some common myths and facts provided by NHTSA:
MYTH: My car came with an infotainment system. Since it’s built into my car, it must be safe.
FACT: An NSC survey found more than 50 percent of drivers believe this myth. But technologies that allow drivers to make handsfree calls and use voice commands to dictate texts and emails, change music and update social media can be distracting to drivers – even if they are built into the vehicle. In fact, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found drivers doing some voice tasks via infotainment systems may remain distracted for as long as 27 seconds after they finish a task.
MYTH: I know distracted driving is dangerous, but I can’t afford to miss calls, emails or text messages. My job depends on it.
FACT: Car crashes are the #1 cause of workplace deaths with distracted driving as a leading factor in road fatalities. Fortunately, more employers are recognizing this hazardous expectation of always being connected and they are doing something about it. Dozens of Fortune 500 companies have adopted cell phone policies, banning the use of phones while driving. By eliminating this deadly distraction, employers are keeping their workforce safer. NSC has developed a free Safe Driving Kit to help employers keep their workers safe. www.nsc.org/safedrivingkit
MYTH: Most car crashes are caused by malfunctions such as faulty brakes, blown tires or engine problems.
FACT: On the contrary, 94 percent of crashes are caused by driver error. Therefore, nearly all of the crashes that happen on our roadways are 100 percent PREVENTABLE.
If you get in an accident due to another driver being distracted, you will need an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you get the medical attention you need and the party at fault is held fully accountable. Without an attorney, insurance companies will try to get you to settle for less. For over 25 years, Sheeley Law has been delivering results at critical times when results matter the most.
Attorney Ann Sheeley handles each case personally and will be by your side, guiding you every step of the way with care and compassion, until you get the settlement you deserve. There is no cost or obligation to speak to us. We will give you a free consultation, listen to your situation, answer your questions and guide you on your best course of action. You may contact us at any of our five Rhode Island offices by calling Sheeley Law at 401-619-5555 or toll free at 866-435-5000, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.