As we previous discussed on our Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The month hosted numerous events, put on by the National Safety Council (NCS) and FocusDriven, in attempt to help reduce the risks of a distracted driving car accident in Chicago and elsewhere in the U.S.
Our Chicago personal injury lawyers hope that you take the message and practice safe, focused driving all year long. Distracted driving accidents can be prevented if drivers pledge to avoid distractions behind the wheel, which includes putting away their phones and avoiding distractions caused by GPS devices and other in-car systems.
With the advancements and the popularity of technological devices, many drivers find it convenient to multi task behind the wheel. Nearly 5,500 people were killed in 2009 in accidents that reportedly involved a distracted driver. While distracted driving is commonly thought to be related to cell phone use and texting behind the wheel, it also includes distractions like eating, drinking and playing with the radio while driving.
“If drivers can go one month without using their phones while driving, they will find out – as many of us have – work still gets done. Many drivers realize most of the calls they thought were so important, really aren’t. It is our hope drivers will decide to make the change permanently. Doing so will make our roadways safer for everyone,” said Jennifer Smith, FocusDriven president and founding board member.
These distracted driving facts illustrate just how prevalent distracted driving is on our roadways:
-Nearly 1,000 fatal accidents reportedly involved a driver using a cell phone behind the wheel last year.
-Nearly 500,000 people were injured last year in motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving.
-An estimated 20 percent of 1,517,000 injury accidents involved reports of distracted driving in 2009.
-Drivers that use hand held devices are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.
-Driving while using a cell phone gives you the same reaction time as a legally drunk driver with the blood alcohol content level of at least .08.
-Drivers under the age of 20 are most likely to be involved in fatal accidents caused by distracted driving than any other age group.
As Distracted Driving Awareness Month comes to a close, everyone is urged to continue to practice focused driving habits. Employers are urged to enforce a no cell phone policy at their business in an attempt to help keep employees safe. To help you get started, the National Safety Council offers employers a Cell Phone Policy Kit, which includes everything you need to help keep your workplace free of distracted driving accidents. Numerous corporations, including DuPont and Goodyear, have created and are enforcing rules banning the use of cell phones while driving.
Employers are urged to enforce a no cell phone policy in the workplace as motor vehicle-related incidents are consistently the leading cause of work-related fatalities in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly 40 percent of on-the-job fatalities are associated with motor vehicles. On-the-job roadway motor vehicle accidents affect millions of works each year. In 2008, nearly 4 million workers in the United States were classified as motor vehicle operators.
If you or a love one has been injured in a traffic collision involving a distracted driver, contact the Chicago accident lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free case evaluation. Call (312) 924-7575 and speak to an attorney today.