Distracted Driving Awareness Month: 3 Distracted Driving Facts You May Not Know!

Did you know that April is national Distracted Driving Awareness Month? Here at Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we often handle distracted driving victims’ personal injury cases in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. In an effort to help raise awareness and prevent distracted driving in our communities, today’s blog highlights 3 distracted driving facts you should know!

So, what is distracted driving? Distracted driving is driving while engaging in an activity that takes your attention off the roadway. Common distracted driving activities include talking, texting, smoking, eating, drinking, or adjusting the radio station or other vehicle feature.

Our personal injury legal professionals see firsthand the ugly aftermath of distracted driving. Some of the most severe injuries we have come across were the result of at-fault drivers’ distracted driving. Our goal in raising awareness about distracted driving is to prevent drivers from injuring others – and themselves.

We hope that highlighting the below 3 distracted driving facts helps you to reflect on your own driving behaviors and encourage others to practice safe driving too!

Fact 1: Distracted Driving is a Leading Cause of Motor Vehicle Accidents Each Year.  

Speeding and drunk driving are the two major causes of car accidents and fatalities that come to mind. But distracted driving is also a leading cause of accidents and roadway fatalities. According to newly-released National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, in 2022, 3,308 people were killed and 289,310 people were injured in the U.S. due to distracted driving. Of all car crashes in 2022, 11% involved reported distracted driving as the cause.

There are three general types of distracted driving: visual, manual, and cognitive.

Visual distractions involve drivers diverting their attention from the road. Often to look at texts, directions, or adjusting vehicle features.

Manual distractions cause drivers to physically remove their hands from the steering wheel. Common tasks include eating and picking up fallen items.

Cognitive distractions include anything that diverts drivers’ minds from the road. Common examples include daydreaming and mentally planning a day or event.

All three of these distraction subtypes make up the devastating data above.

At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, one of our primary concerns is community safety. Consider these driving tips next time you hit the road:

  • Turn off your phone or place it in “Do Not Disturb” mode. Do not plan to use your phone while you are driving. Should an emergency arise, it is best to pull off the road to use your phone. This applies to handsfree calling/devices as well.
  • Do not multitask. It is important to keep your eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel at all times. We suggest prepping your drive – directions, music, communications – before you take off!
  • Limit and control the inside of your car. This includes making sure things are in the right place. Make sure to secure passengers and pets before leaving as well. We also recommend limiting the number of passengers you host in your vehicle at one time to minimize distractions.

Fact 2: 12% of Distracted Driving Accidents Included Cell Phone Use.

Cell phone use while driving, meaning texting, calling, social media scrolling, etc., is one of many ways drivers find themselves driving distracted. In fact, distracted driving accounted for 12% of all distracted driving accident cases in 2022. A jump from 8% in 2020.

Of the three distracted driving subtypes (visual, manual, and cognitive), cell phone usage fits into all three categories. You focus your eyes on the phone, use you hand(s) to complete an action on the phone, and think about the content coming from the phone. It’s no surprise that we’ve seen a plethora of campaigns to stop cell phone usage while driving. If a driver injures you while on their cell phone, call us to discuss your case!

Cell phone use while driving is a major concern in the U.S. After all, cell phone users are 5.36x more likely to get into a motor vehicle accident than other, non-distracted drivers. Even something as simple as texting, “on my way!” or, “almost there!” can divert your attention for a critical amount of time. According to NHTSA, sending or reading a text diverts your attention from the road for about 5 seconds, long enough to cover a football field’s length, if traveling 55 MPH.

As a personal injury law firm, we work directly with distracted driving car accident victims. Often these clients sustain life-changing injuries… that could have been prevented. We hope that these distracted driving facts put into perspective how dangerous even minimal distractions can be.

Fact 3: Teenagers Whose Parents Drive Distracted are 2-4x More Likely to Also Drive Distracted.

Sometimes, the way to change our behavior is to think about how our actions impact younger loved ones. Young drivers – teenagers — are more likely to adopt poor driving habits, like distracted driving, if their parents engage in such habits too.

A University of Michigan study found that teenagers were 2x more likely to engage in distracted driving habits that their parents reported engaging in. However, that number rises to 4x as much when the teenagers think their parents drive distracted. In other words, teenagers observe and replicate their parents’ driving habits more than they do when parents simply tell them how to drive. A classic case of “actions speak louder than words!”

We at Bottaro Injury Lawyers want you and your loved ones to practice safe driving habits on the road. If you have any questions about these distracted driving facts, distracted driving laws in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, or a recent accident you sustained personal injuries in, call us anytime!

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At Bottaro Injury Lawyers, we care for people.  Attorney Mike Bottaro and his award-winning legal team handle all types of personal injury cases throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  We can even help on cases in other states as well.  We pride ourselves on our honesty, integrity, and results.  Contact us 24/7 in any method you prefer for a fast, free, and confidential consultation about your case.  Text or call us at 401-777-7777, or fill out our free and confidential online form.  We are here to serve and help you!

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