April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Raúl A. Guajardo
A Strong, Versatile Lawyer Serving McAllen, Texas

Distracted driving is a public health issue, as well as a public safety issue.  From 2015 to 2016, motor vehicle fatalities have increased by 6 %.  With over 40,000 people killed in car crashes each year, and distracted driving cApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Monthonsistently contributing to at least 10 % of those deaths, changing driving conduct can save a significant number of lives.  Currently, someone is injured in a car crash every seven seconds.   Every 15 minutes, someone is killed.  Understanding and avoiding distracted driving reduces the number of injuries and deaths. 

Understanding Distracted Driving

Distracted driving occurs with any of the following actions:

  • when you take your eyes off the road;
  • your hands off the wheel; or
  • your mind off your driving. 

 

Visual distractions might include reading billboards, or reviewing a mapped route, either on your phone, or on an old fashioned paper map.Manual distractions include taking your hands off the wheel to change the radio station, eat, or reach for a fallen object on the floor of the car.Things such as putting on make up combine both visual and manual distractions.

Cognitive distractions might include having an argument with a passenger, or even reviewing an argument in your mind while you are driving.  It is important to keep your mind on your driving.  Thinking about other things can lead to accidents.

The Dangers of Texting and Driving

Texting is considered one of the most dangerous activities one can engage in.  This is because texting involves visual distraction, as you read texts and search for the appropriate “keys” to respond to a text.  Texting also involves manual distraction, as you take your hands off the wheel to hold your phone.  Finally, while texting, your mind is not on your driving.  Instead, you are composing your text, thinking about what you will say and working to text the right words. 

Texting and driving has the potential for disastrous consequences to the driver, their passenger, and others on the road – both other drivers and passengers, as well as pedestrians.  In some cases, distracted drivers have even driven off the roadway, over a curb, and onto a playground.  Because distracted driving is so dangerous, the National Safety Council has declared April Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  Consider taking the Distracted Driving Safety Pledge, promising your friends and family you choose to be safe on the roads buy not engaging in distracted driving.  Ask you teen to take the pledge, too! 

 Injured in a Car Accident?

If you or someone you love has been hurt in a car accident, you need a car accident attorney to protect your rights and help you recover for your injuries.  The law office of Raul A. Guajardo, P.L.L.C., has offices in Edinburg, Brownsville, and McAllen to serve you.   We offer free consultations.  You have nothing to lose.  Contact us to discuss the facts of your case, your injuries, and your current situation.  The law allows for recovery of lost wages, medical bills, pain and suffering, and replacement of your car in personal injury cases.  Don’t call just any attorney.  You need a car accident attorney on your side.  Call us today!