April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In the age of technology, distracted driving presents a serious issue. Thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of injuries are caused each year as the result of distracted driver car accidents.
Types of Distractions
There are three main types of distractions that increase the chances of causing an accident.
Visual: Anything that causes the driver to take their eyes off the road. These distractions could include texting, looking at the navigation system, taking a photo, looking around the car for an object, and more.
Manual: Anything that causes the driver to take one or both hands off the wheel. These distractions could include eating or drinking, smoking, adjusting the radio, adjusting the seat, and more.
Cognitive: Anything that causes the driver’s attention to wander away from the act of driving. These distractions could include talking on the phone, talking with passengers, daydreaming, listening to the radio, and more.
Distracted Driving Statistics
- Distracted driving accidents account for roughly 25% of all car accidents every year.
- In 2018, distracted driving accidents resulted in roughly 2,800 fatalities and 400,000 injuries.
- In 2018, 1 out of 5 fatalities caused by distracted driving involved someone outside of the vehicle – pedestrians, bicyclists, etc.
- In 2018, 25% of the distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes were young adults between 25 and 29 years of age.
- Texting while driving increases the risk of a car accident by 400%.
Break the Law, Pay the Fine
Texting while driving is illegal in 47 states, including Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. In these three states, the law also enforces a hand-held ban while the vehicle is being operated. This means, no wireless device may be held in the hand while driving. Phone calls can only be made or accepted using in-car or other handsfree accessories such as a Bluetooth device. Headphones or other accessories that cover both ears are also illegal. All cell phone use has been banned in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Connecticut for any drivers 18 years or younger. Penalties for each state are as follows:
Rhode Island: First offense is $100, second offense is $150, and a third offense is $250
Massachusetts: First offense is $100, second offense is $250, and a third offense is $500
Connecticut: First offense is $150, second offense is $300, and a third offense is $500
No matter the distraction, it can wait! Distracted driving not only endangers the driver, but their passengers, other drivers on the road, and those in the surrounding area. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, contact Rob Levine & Associates today. We can help you get the justice you deserve.