Distracted Driving Awareness Month Good Time to Prevent Accidents

The U.S. Department of Transportation has designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  Law enforcement in several jurisdictions has taken note, and more drivers are being pulled over for cell phone use. With clients who have been severely injured by distracted drivers, I applaud these efforts.

Tom Ploof, Morrison County Chief Deputy, wrote a nice article about distracted driving published in the Brainerd Dispatch. Below is an excerpt:

It seems that distracted driving is the new driving under the influence.

Driving distractions include radio and CD programming, putting on make-up, vehicle controls, passengers, programming GPS systems, eating, smoking, and fatigue, but the most prevalent cause is cellphone use. Any time you don’t have two hands on the wheel and your focus on driving, you are driving distracted.

The last sentence should be pasted on the refrigerator of every family with a teen driver, the age group who are reluctant to turn off their cell phones while driving, according to the results of a survey conducted for State Farm Insurance Companies by Harris Interactive. Although over 76% of teens surveyed agreed that there was a high risk of death associated with texting and driving, less than half said they had never texted while driving.

As a father of 5 children, I have to consider what a parent can do to prevent cell phone use, particularly texting, while driving. Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • Have your teen leave his or her phone at home while driving. I didn’t have a cell phone when I was a teen, and I still found ways to keep in contact with my parents and friends when needed.
  • Don’t get a cell phone plan that has texting. This might cause an uprising, but it might also save a life.
  • Have your teen sign a contract with you agreeing not to use his or her phone while driving. It is amazing how something concrete like this can make a difference. The downside is that you will not know if your child abides by the agreement.
  • Simply talk to your teen about the risks involved. Even though it may not seem like it, what you say means a lot to your child.

If you or a loved one has been in an accident, I am available for a free consultation at 888-377-8900 (toll free for those using a land line) or by email at [email protected].

Attorney Eric Hageman represents accident victims throughout the United States. His practice includes cases against truck drivers and trucking companies for crashes caused by 18-wheelers and other commercial trucks. Read his articles about distracted driver accidents:

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Category: Accidents
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