April is designated as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Through the combined efforts of law enforcement officials and traffic safety experts, the aim is to increase public attention of the dangers and prevent distracted driving crashes. These types of car accidents can result in serious and often life threatening personal injuries. Motorists are encouraged to take a safe driving pledge, promising to avoid behaviors that could put them and others at risk.
The Dangers of Distracted Driving
According to the South Carolina Department of Insurance (DOI), diverting your attention from the road for even a few seconds is long enough to make a car accident more likely to occur. In addition to causing you to overlook indicators that a car accident is imminent, being distracted decreases your reflexes and reaction times. Common causes of distracted driving include:
Using cellphones to make calls or send texts
Using phones and other electronic devices to take pictures or videos while driving
Checking emails, playing online games, or posting on social media
Adjusting GPS settings or changing radio stations
Even seemingly innocent actions, such as eating fast food, reaching for items in your vehicle, or talking to passengers could put you and other motorists at risk. The DOI reports that the average amount of time a driver spends on a single distraction, such as reaching for a to-go cup of coffee or glancing at the phone, is five seconds. If you are driving at 55 miles per hour, that equates to driving the entire length of a football field blindfolded.
What South Carolina Is Doing To Keep Drivers Safe
Target Zero is a program sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Safety and the state Department of Transportation. It aims to reduce the number of injuries and fatalities that occur on highways and roads throughout our area each year. They claim that while distracted driving is common, getting an exact estimate of the impact is challenging, as it often relies on drivers reporting on themselves. In car accident injury cases, cell phone records and texting data can be subpoenaed, but this information generally is not available through police accident reports.
To reduce the number of distracted drivers in the state, the Target Zero campaign takes a multi-faceted approach:
Increased law enforcement efforts at ticketed distracted driving offenders
Stricter laws and penalties for those convicted of distracted driving
Road improvements, such as concrete barriers and guardrails, to prevent distracted drivers from drifting out of their lanes
Increased public awareness regarding potential dangers
Target Zero and the DOI urges drivers to take the safe driving pledge, which affirms their commit to buckle up, drive sober, and avoid distractions behind the wheel.
Been In An Accident? Get Help Today
Despite your best efforts, distracted driving accidents can still occur. When they do, reach out and contact the Surasky Law Firm, LLC. Request a consultation with our Aiken personal injury attorneys, who can advise you on how to get the compensation you need to recover from your injuries.