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Pausing for Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 9 people die every day because of distracted driving. This means that about 10 percent of all motor vehicle deaths are caused by a distracted driver. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we would like to pull over and talk about how to avoid driving distracted.

Types of Distracted Driving

While defining distracted driving is simple, identifying behaviors that lead to distraction is a bit trickier. What you might think of as everyday multi-tasking can actually be a hazard for you and other drivers.

Visual
Any time that your eyes are away from the road you could be considered to be driving distracted. This can include glancing at your navigation system, changing the radio station or looking over at a passenger.

Manual
Manual distractions are actions that require your hands to leave the steering wheel. Searching for an object in your car or purse, eating and drinking can all count as manual distractions.

Cognitive
Cognitive distractions can be daydreaming, speaking to a passenger or even listening intently to the radio.

Mobile Devices

Using mobile devices while driving combines all three types of distractions.

According to one study, more than 50 percent of drivers polled admitted to using their phone while driving. It might seem like second nature to some to glance at their mobile device as soon as hearing a ping, but it is one of the most dangerous activities to do while driving. A five-second glance away from the road can be the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded. When you use a mobile device while driving, you are three times more likely to be in an accident.

While there is no handheld ban for drivers in Pennsylvania, there are laws against texting while driving.

Avoiding Distractions

One of the most effective ways to avoid distracted driving is to prepare yourself and your car before leaving your driveway. This means setting the radio, AC and GPS before taking your car out of park. It also means keeping your vehicle clean and free of distractions.

Resist the temptation of multi-tasking. If you need to answer your phone, find a safe location to pull over.

While we trust that you will follow our advice, we know that accidents happen through no fault of your own. If you have been the victim of a car accident due to a distracted driver, you have options. Call an experienced personal injury lawyer. Contact KBG today

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