Government officials, automakers, and safety advocates have met in Washington D.C. at the nation's capital to talk about the distracted driving epidemic. Representatives from the Consumers Union were also on hand to discuss how new policies can be implemented to combat this dangerous trend. In this article , the Department of Transportation claims that 5,474 people died from distracted driving car accidents in 2009 alone. In addition, almost 450,000 people were injured by distracted driving.
As a Columbia personal injury lawyer , I believe this dangerous trend is caused by driver's addictions to staying plugged into what's going on at all times. When your phone beeps to let you know that you have a new text message, it triggers somewhat of a Pavlovian response where you feel the need to check it right away. It's extremely difficult for people to change habits like these but it has to happen if we're going to keep our highways safe.
In order to break some of these difficult habits, the group has offered a few tips. One thing you can do is to either completely turn your phone off before getting in the car, or even just turn it to silent. Some apps will allow you to set up an away message that tells callers or texters that you are driving at the moment. Utilize your passenger to have them make phone calls for you or to look at directions. Keep in mind that it's not just cell phones that pose a distraction. Kids and pets are both things that can take your attention off the road while driving, so if necessary pull off to the side to deal with them.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident caused by distracted driving, contact a personal injury lawyer in Columbia.