This is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This is a good time for all of us to stand back and think about our driving habits and make an honest assessment of whether we are really following our own advice and instincts when it comes to being a safe driver. Distracted driving is one of our nation’s foremost traffic safety problems today. The problem has its roots in the growth of cell phone use in recent years.
According to FocusDriven.org, in 1995 cell phone subscriptions covered only 11 percent of the U.S. population. In 2010, that number grew to a whopping 93 percent. This has led to a significant increase in cell phone use while driving. It has also caused an increase in distracted driving-related deaths. Statistics show that at any given time, 9 percent of drivers are talking on cell phones. This makes them four times as likely to become involved in a car accident.
Recent research has shown that it is dangerous to talk on a cell phone – regardless of whether you are hands-free. When you talk on a cell phone while driving, your brain is required to multi-task. When you focus on your conversation, the area of the brain that is responsible for processing moving visual information has 37 percent less capacity to do so. This means that your brain is focused on the cell phone conversation rather than gathering and processing critical driving data.
According to a 2010 survey conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, two out of three drivers said talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, but 70 percent of the respondents also admitted to doing the same in the previous 30 days. What this study shows is that people know talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous behavior, but they continue to engage in this dangerous behavior.
As drivers, we all need to ask ourselves the question: Why? Is a cell phone conversation more important than a life – be it our own or the life of another person? This April, let us resolve to stay away from our cell phones while driving. Remember, distracted driving is negligent driving. If you or a loved one has been injured by the actions of a distracted driver, please contact an auto accident injury lawyer in Oklahoma at the Maples Law Firm to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights. Please contact us at (888) 226-6159 for a free and comprehensive consultation.