Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving, despite warnings that it causes their own driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries and even death, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). In fact, at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
The result of cell phone use is tragic. “We are seeing more accidents caused by cell phone use, particularly texting,” said Attorney Fred Pritzker, who represents accident victims and families in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits.
“Distracted driving is a serious and deadly epidemic on America’s roadways,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “There is no way to text and drive safely. Powering down your cell phone when you’re behind the wheel can save lives – maybe even your own.”
“Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “I urge all motorists to use common sense and keep their attention focused solely on the task of safely driving.”
More than 6,000 respondents age 16 and older were interviewed by phone for the DOT’s National Survey on Distracted Driving Attitudes and Behaviors. Almost half of drivers said they answer an incoming call and one in four drivers are willing to place a call on all, most, or some trips. Slightly fewer are willing to make a call while driving compared to 2010 (28% to 24%), but there is little if any change in those who answer a call while driving (52% to 49%).
To prevent distracted driver accidents, we urge drivers to do the following:
- Turn off cell phones and other electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive, or pull over to answer a call or text;
- Talk with your teens about responsible driving, and then practice what you preach;
- Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses a cell phone while driving; and
- Always wear your seat belt.
- If a distracted truck driver ran into your car and hurt you and your children, you may have a personal injury lawsuit against that driver and the company for which he or she works.
- As far back as 2011, the federal government banned cell phone use by commercial truck drivers that haul products in at least 2 different states.
- Texts can kill. Encourage the members of your family to pledge not to text while driving.