National Impaired Driving Prevention Month
As we close December, let us remember it is National Impaired Driving Prevention month. Impaired driving includes distracted driving, drugged driving, and drunk driving. Christmas and New Years Eve on average has a much higher rate of accidents than others, we must inform others how important it is being in a proper state of consciousness behind the wheel.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
Mississippi has a population of almost three million people. On average, Mississippians drive a total of 41,000 miles per year with a high number of crashes with an estimate of 600 being fatal. Many of these accidents involve impaired driving.
What Is Impaired Driving?
In the first place, distracted driving can be any action that diverts attention from driving, that includes talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, adjusting the stereo, or navigation system — anything that takes your attention down from the task of safe driving.
Texting is the biggest distraction. Transferring or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. For example, at 55 mph is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
Drunk driving and drugged driving are very common around the holidays, either from celebratory reasons and/or seasonal depression. Christmas and New Year’s sees an average increase in fatalities involving alcohol impaired drivers by 34% (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – NHTSA).
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. You must give your full attention to driving to decrease your chance of crashing, which includes being in a clear state of mind before operating heavy machinery.
Using a cell phone while driving creates a higher chance for deaths and injuries on U.S. roads. Distracted driving kills many people in car accidents each year.
Using a cellphone while driving increases the chance of a crash. Experts have constantly linked texting or using a cellphone to an increased threat. Some studies have emphasized that talking on a cellphone also increases crash threat.
Cellphones and texting are not the only effects that can distract motorists. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration defines distracted driving as any exertion that could divert attention from the primary task of driving. Besides using electronic devices, distractions can also include operating a radio, eating, and drinking, reading, and interacting with passengers. The crash threat associated with these other actions are not well established.
It’s not clear that banning hand-held phone use and texting reduces crashes. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) studies has proven that bans on hand-held phone use reduce overall crashes due to phone use. Crashes have increased in recent times, but overall cellphone use has not.
Motorists become detracted from driving by things other than cellphones, so banning or limiting phone use won’t prevent distracted driving. Broader countermeasures that keep motorists from getting distracted or that alleviate the consequences of distracted driving, similar as crash avoidance technology, may be more effective than cellphone bans.
Although each auto accident case involving distracted driving is different, all of them follow a similar line of progression that involves certain ways and legal processes.
After an auto crash, it’s vital to call 911 and seek medical care as soon as possible. Medical records, police reports, witness statements, and other evidence are critical information that may be vital should you file an auto accident injury claim. Although you should be polite to other motorists and police, don’t apologize or admit fault at the scene of an accident.
Contact Pepper & Odom Law Firm for assistance
Our injury attorneys at Pepper & Odom Law Firm can help you understand your rights and the legal process involved in auto accident claims. Connect with us online or call our Birmingham, Alabama, office at 205-250-1107. You can also reach our Jackson, Mississippi office at 601-202-1111. We handle cases throughout Alabama, Mississippi, and nationwide, utilizing local counsel.