This is an excerpt from one of the recent episodes of 'Do I Need a Lawyer?' hosted by: Gary Martin Hays.
"Hi Gary. This really isn't a legal question. My teenager just started driving. I'm concerned about him trying to use his cell phone and text while he's behind the wheel.
Do you have any suggestions?"
That is a great question.
Whenever I'm driving on the interstate in the morning, without fail - I'll see someone trying to put on makeup in the rear-view mirror or talking or texting on the phone.
All of these are dangerous practices.
Let me show you a clip my law firm sponsored to show the dangers of texting while driving:
I hope you will show your son that video clip. We actually have it posted on my website:
Let's talk about distracted driving for a moment.
Distracted driving is any activity that occupies or diverts a driver's attention away from the road.
All distractions are dangerous.
All distractions can be fatal.
They not only endanger the driver, but also the passengers, other drivers and pedestrians.
There are three types of distracted driving:
(1) Manual - when you take your hands off the wheel or your hands are being occupied by something else.
(2) Visual - when you take your eyes off the road
(3) Cognitive - when your mind is not focused on driving.
I receive phone calls constantly from people who have been injured because a driver had their attention on something other than the road ahead of them.
And what is the number one cause of distracted driving?
TEXTING - and it is closely followed by the at fault driver trying to dial or talk on a cell phone.
Here are some other examples of distracted driving activities.
Eating and drinking
Talking to passengers
Reading or using maps
Using a navigation system
Changing the radio station or song on the CD player
But, by far the worst distraction is trying to text while driving.
Let me explain why.
Text messaging requires you to focus your visual, manual, and cognitive attention.
In fact, you are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident if you are texting while behind the wheel.
Let me give you some more statistics reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
In 2009, over 5,000 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction, and an estimated 448,000 were injured. (NHTSA)
Teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to be involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In 2009, 16% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted. (NHTSA)
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. That is the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field, blind, at 55 miles per hour.
According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, 80 percent of automobile accidents and 65 percent of near-accidents involve at least some form of driver distraction within three seconds of the crash or near-miss.
The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers was the under-20 age group.
And the group with the highest proportion of cell phone use in fatal car accidents was the 30-39 year olds.
One thing you can do is download the app called "Drive Safe Mode." It blocks the phone's usage while the car is in motion.
And if the app is disabled, it will send you a notification!
If you or a loved one has been injured because of a distracted driver, Just pick up the phone right now and give us a call at (770) 934-8000.
Our intake specialists are standing by right now to speak with you.
The consultation is FREE and completely confidential.
And I encourage you - if you don't call us, please call someone to help you with your claim.
You owe it to yourself - to your family - to get the help you need.
So give us a call right now. (770) 934-8000.