Brake Check: A Crash Course on Distracted Driving

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People have become accustomed to eating, putting on make-up, and switching the radio station while driving, but what they do not realize is that distracted driving can have deadly consequences. Based on “Distracted Driving 2013” published by the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 3,154 people killed and approximately 424,000 people injured in automobile accidents involving distracted drivers in 2013.

The study defines distracted driving as “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” For instance, placing or receiving calls, sending text messages, or using electronic devices could distract the driver at a critical moment.

Many states have enacted a cell phone and texting ban to try decreasing phone usage. For instance, in South Carolina there is a ban on all text-based communication while driving.

Distracted driving is not limited to use of electronic devices. Interacting with passengers, talking, smoking, and eating are all distracting behaviors.

Distracted driving can be used as evidence of negligence in an injury lawsuit resulting from an automobile accident. Drivers may be held accountable for damages to a person’s property as well as any medical expenses resulting from the accident.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Elrod Pope Law Firm wants to encourage you to change your habits and to not drive while exhibiting distracting behaviors.

Distractions can be eliminated by putting electronic devices away, keeping hands on the wheel, and keeping your eyes on the road. A car accident can happen within seconds, do not wait until it is too late.

If you or someone you love has been the victim of distracted driving, please contact us. For more information about distracted driving, visit the website for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

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