by Francisco Guerra, IV. on 06/12/2013
Distracted driving has become an epidemic in the United States, and can end with devastatingly fatal consequences.
While texting and driving has dominated distracted driving headlines and public service campaigns, even having a phone conversation while behind the wheel is risky. Talking on hands-free or handheld cell phones requires the brain to multitask – which distracts you from focusing on the road. Distractions are not limited to cell phone use; cell phone use is attributed to only 18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes according to Distraction.gov. What makes up the other 82%? Eating, drinking, changing the music, reaching over the seat for something, freshening makeup, and so on.
In the workplace:
Millions of workers’ job responsibilities include driving, whether visiting clients and customers, making site visits, or delivering goods and services. Thanks to new technologies like cell phones, tablets and hands-free devices, working remotely or from the road has become much more efficient. Technological advances help workers get work done faster, but that speed does not justify the dramatically increased risk of injury and death that comes with workplace distracted driving. The leading cause of workplace fatalities continues to be motor vehicle crashes according to the National Safety Council. Employers have realized the dangers of using cell phones while driving, and are passing policies to prevent distracted driving on the job. The National Safety Council recommends prohibition of both hands-free and handheld devices for all employees. San Antonio workplace attorneys encourage employers to utilize the Council’s Employer Cell Phone Policy Kit.
2012 Study by National Highway and Traffic Safety Commission:
The NHTSA published a 2012 survey on distracted driving, focusing on attitudes and behaviors. The study classified drivers into two categories based on similar overall behavioral tendencies behind the wheel: distraction-prone drivers and distraction-averse drivers.
Drivers classified as distraction-prone tend to be younger, more affluent, and have more formal education than distraction-averse drivers. There was almost no gender difference in the proportion of distraction prone to distraction-averse drivers.
Almost half (48%) of drivers reported answering their cell phone when driving at least some of the time. More than half of drivers (58%) who answer their phones while driving continue to drive while on the phone, while only 11% pull over to safe locations to continue the conversation.
While public awareness campaigns have increased knowledge about the risks associated with distracted driving, San Antonio personal injury lawyers believe some drivers still pose real risks by continuing to text and drive and to participate in other distractions while behind the wheel. If a distracted driver has injured you or someone you love, contact the lawyers at Watts Guerra LLP.
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