With craze of the Masters behind us, we can focus our attention and awareness onto another important topic in April: Distracted Driving.
The month of April has been designated as Distracted Driving Awareness month and it isn’t because golf carts are involved in major accidents. The phone calls, text messages, social media updates and emails seem to be distracting drivers and resulting in car accidents with major injuries. The National Safety Council (NSC) is even calling the idea of distracted driving a national epidemic, which needs to be given more attention.
Since 1921, the NSC has issued traffic fatality statistics and within the last year, the number of car accident deaths has left many safety officials in shock. According to the NSC, over 40,000 people were killed in car accidents and one of the top five reasons for these car accidents is due to distracted driving.
The Council released a survey that found 83% of drivers believed that driving is a major safety concern. However, among those surveyed 64% said that they were comfortable speeding and 47% of them admitted to texting while driving (either manually or through voice controls). It seems as though, while many Americans are aware of the dangers of driving, they aren’t doing much to prevent or stop their own dangerous behavior.
The Council believes that with the help of state and local officials, along with businesses in the community, distracted driving can cease to exist if we all take a stand. For state and local officials, the Council’s position calls for stricter laws banning all cell phone use – including the use of hands-free devices to all drivers, not just teens.
Next, businesses should take action by encouraging their employees to wait to respond until they are not in their vehicle. So often employees feel like they are on a short timeline to respond to a fellow co-worker or to their boss; but, if that employee were involved in a car accident while responding to a work email or text, their employer (or the business) could be liable for the accident. Businesses can take the first step in preventing distracted driving by providing employees information and taking the following pledge.
Let’s all agree to put down our phones and focus on driving. The data doesn’t lie: texting and driving causes car accidents. Don’t be a statistic.
For more information on this article, contact Kaine Law.