April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness MonthAt this point, everyone should know just how dangerous distracted driving is. It leads to thousands of car crashes every year and puts people at risk of serious injuries. Yet every single day, we see at least one other driver on the road who is texting or fumbling with a GPS device, and we see pedestrians with their noses buried in their phones as they walk across intersections.

That is why the National Safety Council (NSC)  has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The group is advocating that drivers be more aware of their surroundings, and to be safer while they are on the roads. They are asking drivers to take the pledge to “Just Drive” this month, and from here on out.

About the “Just Drive” campaign

The NSC is targeting young drivers who often disregard the risks of driving while distracted. For example, the NSC website states that:

  • According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey, one-fifth of drivers between 18 and 20 think texting doesn’t affect their driving, and 30% of drivers between 21 and 34 don’t worry about texting while driving.
  • There are studies by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety which confirm that young drivers do not appreciate how deadly distracted driving can be. The AAA Foundation studies also confirm that hands-free devices still create unreasonable risks to anyone on the road.
  • The problem is likely worse than the statistics show because cell phone use is under-reported in many crash reports.

The campaign urges employers, families, schools, and community organizations to spread the word about the dangers of driving while distracted. The NSC suggests using flyers, posters, brochures, and personal communications to alert everyone. In addition to their website, the NSC is also offering a free webinar – an online educational seminar – on April 19, 2018 at 11:00am CST.

Why distracted driving is so dangerous

The aim of the April awareness campaign is to inform the public about how deadly driving while texting, talking a cellphone, or other types of distracted driving are. More than 40,000 drivers, passengers, and pedestrians were killed due to distracted driving in 2016, a 6% increase from 2015.

Distracted driving includes:

  • Texting while driving
  • Using a smartphone while driving
  • Looking at videos
  • Eating or drinking while driving
  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics
  • Driving while tired
  • Looking at a GPS system
  • Personal grooming while driving
  • Any conduct that takes the driver’s eyes off the road and hands off the steering wheel

Any momentary lapse of concentration can cause a head-on collision, a rear-end collision, or other type of serious car accident.

Take the “Just Drive” pledge

“I pledge to Just Drive for my own safety and for others with whom I share the roads. I choose to not drive distracted in any way – I will not:

  • Have a phone conversation – handheld, hands-free, or via Bluetooth
  • Text or send Snapchats
  • Use voice-to-text features in my vehicle’s dashboard system
  • Update Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo or other social media
  • Check or send emails
  • Take selfies or film videos
  • Input destinations into GPS (while the vehicle is in motion)
  • Call or message someone else when I know they are driving

I dedicate my pledge to: (children or other loved ones).”

At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we work to hold distracted drivers responsible for the deaths and injuries they cause. For strong representation from a skilled Memphis car crash attorney, please call us at 901-680-9777 or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We see injury victims and families in Memphis, Jackson, West Tennessee, and neighboring locations.