“One second, let me just send this text quick…” That one second could take someone’s life, not to mention your own. Distracted driving, as well as speed, is one of the top reasons and concerns for motor vehicle accidents.
What is Distracted Driving?
Distracted driving, in other words, is any activity that diverts the operator of a motor vehicle from the road. This can include talking, texting on your mobile device, smoking, eating, or drinking. Today, you can easily be distracted by receiving multiple texts, phone calls or fiddling with your stereo or entertainment devices.
The Dangers and Statistics
When you decide to drive with distractions, you decide to significantly increase your risk of crashing. The United States Department of Transportation reported more than 2,800 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver every year, as of 2018 and an estimated 400,000 were injured. Ultimately, 25% of the distracted drivers were young adults aged 20-29. The use of technology, as beneficial as it is for communication and businesses, has taken our eyes and mind off the road.
What Are The Consequences?
There are different dangers to distracted driving. This can include visual, manual, and cognitive. When you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and are not focusing your mind on the road, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Distracted driving can cause fatal motor vehicle crashes, not to mention long-lasting disabilities or death. A motor vehicle accident caused by distracted driving can lead to mental and emotional injuries as well; such as loss income or lost wages and out of pocket costs for medical treatments.
Just like an intoxicated driver, you become impaired when driving with distractions and you limit your reaction time. Not only are there personal injuries or property damage consequences, but there can also be monetary fines, criminal charges or even jail time. Almost every state, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts, has laws strictly prohibiting texting while driving. The severity of the punishments or fines can be increased if you have more than one offense, if the results of the motor vehicle accident are fatal, or if drinking and driving is involved.
Staying Safe On The Road
Together, we can share the road and keep it safe by limiting distractions and staying alert. You can avoid a lot of trouble, if you stay aware of your surroundings, follow the speed limit, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and remember, the text can wait!
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