Distracted driving accidents are often fatal...and preventable
In Colorado and across the U.S., traffic safety advocates have designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Since distracted driving is a common cause of car accidents throughout the nation, efforts are being made to spread awareness, beef up enforcement, and help people open their eyes to the dangers.
EndDD.org is dedicated to reducing crashes caused by distracted drivers. The campaign is a product of the Casey Feldman Foundation, named after the young woman who was tragically killed by a distracted driver in Ocean City, NJ while she was in a crosswalk in 2009. Casey was only 21 years old at the time of her death, and her parents created EndDD.org to help prevent other families from suffering a similar tragedy.
“I can’t bring my daughter back, but I can talk to kids,” Joel Feldman said in an interview with NPR. “I’m very, very fortunate talking to some wonderful kids across the country, and it’s the young who are going to change how we’re going to drive.”
Different types of distractions
Distracted driving is defined as an activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road. Safety experts classify distractions into 3 main categories: Manual, Visual, and Cognitive.
- Manual distractions: This type of distraction happens when a driver moves their hands away from the steering wheel. Examples include eating, changing the radio, adjusting the climate, reaching for something on the floor, holding a cell phone, or using an infotainment system.
- Visual distractions: These are distractions that happen when a driver takes their eyes off the road. Looking at a cell phone, self-grooming, rubbernecking, and passengers are all common examples of visual distractions.
- Cognitive distractions: A cognitive distraction is anything that causes a driver's mind to wander. Examples include daydreaming or being deep in thought, reading a text or phone notification, talking on a cell phone, chatting with passengers, and even strong emotions such as anger, sadness, or frustration.
Take into consideration that texting and driving, the most dangerous form of distracted driving, falls under all three categories. Studies have also shown that a texting driver is just as dangerous as someone driving under the influence of alcohol. In short, remember that there is no message that can't wait to be read, sent, or typed. And if you must use your phone, be sure to park your vehicle at a safe location first.
How to prevent distracted driving
In 2019, 7 percent of all fatal crashes involved a distracted driver and resulted in 3,142 fatalities. Moreover, about 20 percent of the victims who died in crashes caused by distracted drivers that year were walking, biking, or outside of a vehicle.
As such, it's important for us all to do our part so we can put an end to this deadly problem on our roads and highways.
As a driver, there are many ways you can prevent yourself from driving distracted. Smartphone apps and features can stop notifications from appearing on your screen, letting you focus on the road. And if you don't want to be tempted to use your phone, you can always put it someplace out of reach, such as in your trunk or locked in the glove box.
As a passenger, just like you wouldn't let someone drive you while drunk, don't let someone drive you while distracted. Politely but firmly speak up if you see your driver lose focus.
As a parent, lead by example and be the driver you want your teen to turn out to be. Teens whose parents drive distracted are 2 to 4 times as likely to also drive distracted, which is a form of negligence that's responsible for more than 58% of all teen crashes.
Talk to an experienced Colorado Springs car accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver in Colorado, you have the right to pursue financial compensation for your losses. Medical bills, lost wages, and other accident-related expenses are things you shouldn't have to stress about when you're injured and trying to recover. That's our job.
At The Longo Firm, LLC, we understand the importance of being there for crash victims in their time of need—and that's not something we take lightly. That's why you can trust us to fight for the compensation you need and deserve. We'll treat you with dignity and respect.
Attorney Stephen Longo is the car accident lawyer you want if you were injured in Colorado Springs. Contact us today for a free consultation.