You are probably aware that distracted driving has become a serious issue in society today. What you may not know is, why.
Read on to learn the reasons why distracted driving is so dangerous.
Distracted Driving Defined
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system — anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”
Texting while driving is the most concerning distraction. When you read or send a text, you must take your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. When you’re traveling at a rate of 55 miles per hour (mph), taking your eyes off the road for five seconds is like driving the entire distance of a football field without looking.
You’re unable to drive safely if your full attention isn’t on the road. Your risk of being involved in an accident significantly increases when you’re driving while distracted.
Smartphones Are a Big Problem
Since wireless devices have gained in popularity in recent years, there has been an alarming increase in the number of injuries and fatalities as a result of distracted driving. According to the Federal Communications Commission, the following statistics are true and rather daunting:
- At least 9 people die and over 1,000 are injured on a daily basis due to distraction-related wrecks in the U.S.
- 2,800+ people lost their lives due to distracted driving in just one year.
- About 400,000 people were hurt in wrecks related to distracted driving over the course of a year.
- Smartphone use tends to be the most prevalent among 16-24-year-old drivers.
States Are Making Changes
Many states have enacted some or all of the following in an effort to reduce the number of distracted driving injuries and fatalities:
- More stringent laws
- Increased data collection
- New education programs
- Public and/or private partnerships
- Increased reliance on social media platforms to spread awareness
Alaska’s Distracted Driving Legislature
According to Alaska Statutes Title 28. Motor Vehicles § 28.35.161, “A person commits the crime of driving while texting, while communicating on a computer, or while a screen device is operating if the person is driving a motor vehicle.”
What You Can Do
It’s up to all of us to reduce the number of distracted driving accidents that occur on Alaska’s roads.
Teens tend to listen to each other more than anyone else, so it’s important that they encourage one another to do the right thing. The following are some ways that teens can help prevent each other from driving while distracted:
- Speak up when a friend is driving while distracted
- Have friends sign a pledge not to drive while distracted
- Get involved in a local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter
- Share messages on social media to remind others that distracted driving is deadly
As a parent, you’ll need to lead by example. Don’t ever drive while you’re distracted. Have discussions with your young driver about being distracted and all of the challenges that go along with driving. Driving is not simply operating a motor vehicle—it’s so much more than that. There are many elements to consider, and it’s important to relay that information to your young driver.
One way you can encourage your family members not to drive while distracted is by having everyone sign a pledge committing to driving distraction-free.
Educators and Employers
As an educator or employer, you have opportunities to spread the word against distracted driving. Make your voice heard at your school or place of employment about the risks associated with distracted driving. Request that your students commit to distraction-free driving or provide a company policy regarding distracted driving.
We Can Help
If you’ve been involved in an injury-sustaining accident due to someone else’s distracted driving, you may be entitled to compensation. Our attorneys here at Farnsworth & Vance are highly experienced in car accident injury cases. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your case right away.
Call Farnsworth & Vance today at (907) 290-2576 or complete an online form to speak with an attorney about your potential case.