Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Distracted driving awareness month

It’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is a plague on the nation’s roadways, says Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.

“Vulnerable road users, such as pedestrians and bicyclists, are particularly endangered when drivers are distracted. Pedestrian fatalities increased 13 percent (from 6,515 to 7,342), and bicyclist deaths were up five percent (from 938 to 985) from 2020 to 2021.” Chase said. “The numbers continue to climb. In the first six months of 2022, there was a further two percent increase in pedestrian deaths (3,340) and an eight percent increase in pedal cyclist fatalities (448).”

If you’ve been injured in a distracted driving car crash, talk to an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month Raises Calls for Action

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports, that over 300,000 people were injured and more than 3,000 were killed in crashes related to distracted driving in 2021. Chase said the figures are probably much higher because of underreporting.

The NHTSA says that “distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads. Cell phone use — specifically, texting, talking, and social media use — has become the most common distraction. Other risky actions include adjusting the radio or GPS, applying makeup, eating, and drinking. By driving distracted, you’re robbing yourself of seconds that you may need to avoid a close call or deadly crash.”

Chased launched Distracted Driving Awareness Month with a call for the federal government to enact safety measures. “The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) must fulfill the vehicle safety rulemaking mandated in the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. L. 117-58) with great expediency and urgency. This includes issuing minimum performance standards for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) (i.e., automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind spot detection (BSD), lane keeping assist (LKA)) and other crash avoidance technologies,” she said.

“The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found AEB systems in passenger vehicles reduce front-to-rear crashes by 50 percent, and AEB with pedestrian detection decreases pedestrian crashes by 27 percent. These standards need to apply to all new vehicles and be comprehensive so that all road users are protected in all lighting conditions and at all speeds, as is feasible for the technology,” Chase said.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month in Florida

distracted driving awareness month

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) launched its Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign by pointing out that there were 53,596 distracted driving crashes in Florida last year, which means, on average, there were 1,116 distracted driving crashes every week. FLHSMV breaks down the figures on its Distracted Driving Awareness Month Dashboard.

“Distracted driving is dangerous driving,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Dave Kerner. “If you’re behind the wheel, put away all distractions. Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of your passengers or others on the road.”

Texting while driving is a primary offense of Florida’s Wireless Communications While Driving law. Law enforcement can stop a vehicle solely for using a wireless communications device while driving, including in active work and school zones.

The FLHSMV describes Distracted Driving as Distracted as “anything that takes your hands off the wheel, your eyes off the road or, your mind off driving. Distracted driving could be texting while driving or just scrolling on your phone, but it may not be limited to it. Other passengers, browsing music, using navigation devices, eating, or monitoring children could all distract you while driving.”

Call 866-730-3508 for a free consultation with an Orlando car accident attorney at the Martinez Manglardi personal injury law firm if you’ve been injured in a car crash. Convenient locations throughout Central Florida.

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