Many people dislike when they are told they are doing something wrong, especially by someone they don’t even know. The tendency is to brush off what you were told and move on, but what if it cost someone their life? Ignorance of the following facts might be bliss, but we ask that you take a moment to consider the impact it could have on your life or the life of someone you love.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), based on statistics recorded in 2011, approximately 9 people are killed every day and 1161 injured in accidents that involved distracted drivers. Distracted driving is define as “…any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” Now to be fair, since you may already be thinking that this includes putting on make up, eating, etc. (and you would be correct) the fact is that many of these injuries and deaths were caused by people texting.
According a National Safety Council 2014 news release, it is estimated that cell phones were used in 26% of all motor vehicle crashes. Part of the problem is that people don’t associate their phone with the damage it can cause, they don’t believe the risk. Now we are going to turn this around. Imagine every time your family and friends are out driving they are with 660,000 drivers that are using their cell phones which NHTSA reported for any given daylight moment in the United States in 2011. It is probably safe to assume that number has since increased. Even so, with so many distracted drivers, it is becoming more and more likely that your loved ones may be killed or injured every day.
Coming back to your responsibilities, many of those drivers have heard about the dangers of distracted driving but they are in denial thinking it “won’t happen to me” and that they are being safe with how they use their phones. Unless you decide to stop driving distracted and insist your friends do the same, the vicious cycle will continue, and you may be the one to kill or be killed because of a simple text. Don’t become the norm by believing you are the exception. Here is what you can do to start:
- Share with your family and friends that you will NOT text and drive and that you will respond to their text or phone call after you are done driving.
- If you are with someone, consider having them handle your texting needs while you are driving.
- Offer to help your friends and family with the above suggestions. They might think you are a bit strange for a moment, but what is better? Strange, or hurt?
- If you keep having issues with using your phone, consider turning it off, silencing it, or putting it somewhere out of sight and out of reach such as your glove compartment, or in your friends hands.
Make a small sacrifice of being completely connected to your phone during your drive time to show your friends and family you truly care about them. At the Clardy Law Firm, we have seen the devastation these devices can cause and urge drivers to be safe and free from distractions. If you do find yourself in the aftermath of an accident affected by a careless driver or have any questions, please contact us.