April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Avoid "secondary tasks" that can cause Missouri auto accidents
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month! Sadly, despite numerous national campaigns and safety initiatives, distracted driving continues to be a major contributing factor in thousands of car accidents every year. When most people hear the term "distracted driving," they immediately think of cell phone use, but the fact is that other secondary tasks (eating, talking with passengers, or even listening to loud music) can also create dangerous distractions for drivers. In this post, our personal injury lawyers discuss the links between distracted drivers and serious, life-threatening accidents.
Distracted driving & car accidents: 10 reasons "secondary task" jeopardize Missouri roadway safety
1. Numerous studies have shown that certain forms of distraction (i.e. drowsiness, passenger conversations) actually cause greater impairment than alcohol use. Despite this research, more than 7 million people firmly believe that their driving is unaffected by cell phone use behind the wheel.
2. Nationwide, more than 15 people are killed and over 1,200 more are injured every single day in crashes involving a distracted driver.
3. When a driver is listening to music or conversation while behind the wheel, the amount of brain activity associated with driving decreases by nearly 40%.
4. In a Nationwide Mutual Insurance Study, 80% of respondents admitted to engaging in blatantly hazardous behaviors while driving, including changing clothes, painting fingernails and shaving.
5. Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to cause a crash serious enough to result in injuries to vehicle occupants. Contrary to popular belief, hands-free phones have not proven to be substantially safer than hand-held devices.
6. In a survey conducted by State Farm, a staggering 48% of drivers age 18 to 29 admitted to using mobile phone based internet (or "webbing") while behind the wheel.
7. Distracted driving is now the number one killer of American teenagers. The Pew Research Center reports that 40% of teens say they have been in a car with a driver who used a cell phone in a way that put his or her passengers in danger.