202010.08
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#JustDrive: Distracted Driving Carries Serious (Sometimes Deadly) Risks

As a personal injury firm, the John Price team has seen the dangers of distracted driving first-hand. It is a topic we discuss regularly in the media and on our blog, and unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be going away soon. As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as a global community, the National Safety Council (NSC) made the sound decision to move Distracted Driving Awareness Month to October 2020. We hold distracted drivers accountable  and are here to arm you with the information you need to remain focused behind the wheel. Join us in this commitment and keep reading to learn more.

Defining Distracted Driving
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines distracted driving as “any activity that diverts attention from driving.”

Activities they list include:

  • Talking on your phone
  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Conversing with passengers
  • Adjusting the stereo, entertainment or navigation system

The CDC breaks distractions into three main categories:

  • Visual (anything that draws your eyes away from the road)
  • Manual: (anything that removes your hands from the wheel)
  • Cognitive (anything that distracts your mind from focusing on driving)

In summary, it’s “anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.”

Dangers of Distracted Driving
NSC reports the number of people injured by distracted driving crashes during a typical day is over 700. In 2018, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 2,841 people lost their lives to distracted driving. Digging deeper into those numbers, we see 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians and 77 bicyclists died.

Hands-Free Isn’t Safe
The availability of the hands-free feature in your vehicle doesn’t make it safe (the same goes for speaker phone). The NSC cautions “hands-free isn’t risk-free,” going on to report that drivers who are on the phone can’t see up to 50 percent of what is in view of their windshield. They describe hands-free and handheld cell phone use as “deadly.”

Action Steps

Reducing distracting driving starts with you. Here are a few reminders that could save a life:

  • Take the “Just Drive” hands-free pledge and share the pledge with your friends and family
  • Reduce the temptation to check your phone by turning it on airplane mode or silent, away from reach when driving
  • Remember to set your GPS or navigation device before you put your vehicle into drive
  • Keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road
  • Be an example for loved ones and passengers in your vehicle
  • Safely pull over if a passenger needs your attention
  • Advocate for distraction-free driving by speaking with your local representatives

We’re Here to Help

Contact our personal injury firm if you or a loved one has been injured due to a distracted driver in South Carolina. We offer a free consultation and 24-hour answering service. We have five convenient locations, with three South Carolina locations being fully staffed with full-time attorneys and experienced support staff, or we can meet you at your home or hospital, with evening and weekend appointments available. Call John Price Law Firm, LLC at 843-552-6011.


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