Distracted driving has become one of the most concerning dangers on public
roads. Although driver distraction has been around for as long as there
have been automobiles, today’s level of distraction behind the wheel
has become a problem of epidemic proportions - and it causes thousands
of preventable injuries and deaths each year.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
more than 421,000 people have been injured in auto accidents involving
driver distraction in 2012. Because this is such an alarming statistic,
lawmakers and safety officials have worked to pass tough laws that limit
the risks of distracted driving accidents. In Nevada, for example,
handheld devices and text messaging are banned for all drivers.
Although all forms of distracted driving are dangerous - including using
a cellphone, eating or drinking, personal grooming, reading maps, or adjusting
electronics - text messaging is considered the most dangerous form. This
is because it commands a driver’s visual, manual, and cognitive
attention simultaneously, and can increase your risk of being in an accident
by as much as 23x, according to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).
At Shook & Stone, we know distracted drivers can devastate the lives
of victims and their families, and we want all Las Vegas residents to
be safe when sharing the road with others. Below are a few important tips
to help you prevent
Prepare Beforehand - One of the best ways to prevent distraction behind the wheel is to give
yourself plenty of time to prepare for your trip. Make sure you have everything
you need and that you won’t need to search or reach for items while
driving. Also make sure you know where you’re headed before you
get onto the road and adjust your seat and mirrors. If you need to re-evaluate
directions, have a passenger look it up for you or pull to the side of the road.
Resist Your Phone - Taking your eyes off the road even for a second places yourself and
everyone around you at risk. Understand that any text messages or e-mails
can wait. If something is truly urgent, make sure to pull safely off the
road so as not to endanger others.
Secure Loose Items - Make sure to secure any loose items in your vehicle - including food
and drink bottles - so that they can’t become loose during your
trip and pose a distraction. In serious cases, loose items can even become
lodged in between brake or gas pedals.
Food & Grooming - Eating and drinking and personal grooming are some of the most common
forms of distracted driving. Give yourself the time you need to eat and
get fully dressed and ready before getting in the car.
Make Driving Your Number 1 Focus - Whenever you’re behind the wheel, make sure you make driving your
top priority. Obey the rules of the road and do your part in keeping everyone
safe by resisting distractions.
If you have questions about pursuing a personal injury claim after being
injured in an
auto accident - including accidents caused by distracted drivers -
call Shook & Stone to speak personally with a lawyer.