We have all had the occasion to notice another driver doing something he or she shouldn’t be doing while driving. My most notable memory is seeing a woman brushing her teeth as she was driving on I-95 in morning rush hour traffic.
Every April, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsors National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This campaign aims to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and promote safe driving practices.
Distracted driving is doing any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from operating a motor vehicle. Examples of distracted driving include texting, eating, applying make-up, playing with the radio, looking up directions on your GPS, and brushing your teeth.
Clearly, distracted driving is dangerous and significantly increases the risk of accidents. Distracted drivers may be slow to react to situations around them, make poor driving decisions, and lose control of their car more often than focused drivers. In fact, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported that distracted driving contributed to 15,542 crashes in Pennsylvania in 2019, resulting in 61 fatalities and 8,008 injuries. Nationally, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in 2020.
Distracted drivers can also be held legally responsible for negligence. If you slam into the rear of another vehicle while driving and brushing your teeth, not only will you receive a citation and fine for careless driving and other possible motor vehicle violations, you will likely be sued by the other driver for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. Your auto insurance premiums will increase, and life will become more expensive.
Hence the importance of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During the month, various initiatives will encourage drivers to avoid distractions and practice safe driving. #JustDrive is the official hashtag of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The goal of the campaign is to reduce the number of accidents caused by distracted driving and promote safer driving habits among all drivers. Brush your teeth at home.
Please call us if you have any questions or if you have been injured in a car accident. We are here to help you get your life back on track and give you peace of mind.