Distracted Driving Accidents in Alabama
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed nearly 2,900 lives in 2018 alone. Unfortunately, drivers are becoming more and more distracted when operating a motor vehicle resulting in an increase in accidents year after year. Car accidents caused by distracted drivers are all too common in Alabama and throughout the United States. In fact, Alabama has the 2nd highest rate of fatal car accidents in the U.S. and is ranked 3rd for passenger fatalities.
What is considered distracted driving?
According to Drive Safe Alabama, a division of the Alabama Department of Transportation, distracted driving is described as, “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” The NHTSA reports that distracted drivers who take their eyes off the road for just five seconds while driving 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field – with eyes closed.
Distracted driving activities include doing any of the following actions while driving:
- Talking or texting on your cell phone while driving
- Eating or drinking
- Grooming while driving, such as applying makeup or using an electric shaver
- Changing the radio station or adjusting settings in your car
- Talking to other passengers
- Looking for loose or lost items in the back seat
- Reading a map or navigation system
Driving while sleepy is another serious safety concern that can lead to car accidents. Operating a motor vehicle while sleep-deprived is a serious risk factor and common activity that takes a driver’s mind off the road and exposes pedestrians and other drivers to a potentially serious or fatal auto accident. Car accidents caused by sleepy drivers are often serious or fatal.
Do your part to keeping Alabama roadways safe.
The NHTSA reports that taking your eyes off the road for just five seconds while driving 55 mph is equivalent to driving the length of an entire football field – with your eyes closed. So, what can you do to keep you and other drivers or pedestrians safe while driving? Here are a few safe driving tips:
- First, educate your teens on the dangers of distracted driving. Motor vehicle fatalities were among the leading cause of death to teens in Alabama. Alabama ranked second as the worst state in the nation for teen driving fatalities in 2017. Even more alarming is that 21% of teen drivers that were involved in a fatal accident included teen drivers who were using their cell phones. Teens who have parents that text and drive are two to four times more likely to text and drive themselves. With these statistics in mind, we encourage parents to lead by example. Parents, guardians, and elders should always avoid using their cell when behind the wheel, especially with teens in the car. Also, encourage teen passengers to hold adults and their friends accountable.
- Second, commit to driving safer. Alabama law prohibits drivers from texting while driving because the dangers are just too great. A driver that texts and drives is 23 times more likely to get into a car accident than a non-texting driver. Therefore, all drivers should put the phone down while driving and if necessary, put the phone on do not disturb mode to eliminate temptation and reduce driving distractions.
- Third, employers should consider implementing safe driving programs and policies. Safe driving programs should aim to educate employees on the dangers of distracted driving. Employers can also share safety tips to promote safe driving habits, assign team members to be safety captains or leaders, and establish workplace cell phone policies. Communicating safety expectations with employees sets a safe workplace culture.
- Lastly, share this article with your friends and family and help spread the word. Let’s all do our part to keep Alabama roads safer and stop distracted driving in our community. It’s clear that distracted driving causes thousands of car crashes each year. Drivers and passengers should be mindful of the dangers associated with distracted driving.
Were you involved in a car accident with a distracted driver?
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident with a distracted or negligent driver, we encourage you to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Collins Law, LLC . We offer free, no-obligation case evaluations. Collins Law LLC is located in Birmingham, Alabama and serves clients throughout Alabama. Your rights matter. Let us protect them.