Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Note: This was featured as part of our Wednesday segment on Charleston’s 105.5 The Bridge with Box in the Morning. You can catch us every Wednesday morning at 8:50 am ET for the latest law tips and legal news. You can listen to the segment below:
April has been designated Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and we at the John Price Law Firm want to take the opportunity to bring awareness to this important issue. Distracted driving refers to performing any task while driving, whether it is talking or texting on a cell phone, eating, or even updating your GPS. Many drivers think of distracted driving practices as multitasking, and underestimate just how dangerous distracted driving can be.
Teens and young adults are not the only drivers guilty of multitasking behind the wheel. All of us have driven while distracted, unaware of how drawing our attention from the road puts our own safety and the safety of others at risk. Here are a few myths from the National Safety Council about multitasking and distracted driving that all drivers should know.
Myth #1 – Drivers can multitask
Most drivers believe that because they multitask in other parts of life like at work or at home, multitasking while driving shouldn’t be any different. However, our brains cannot really do two things at once. It is impossible to fully focus on two or more things at the same time. If you are performing another task while driving, it hinders your attention to the road and awareness of your surroundings.
Myth #2 – Talking on a cell phone is just like talking to a passenger
Talking to someone on a cell phone is not the same as talking to a passenger in the car. Passengers in the car are actually good for you. They also pay attention to the road, and are able to warn you about road conditions or your lack of attention. Someone on the phone doesn’t have the same vantage point as a passenger in the car. They have no idea what’s happening on the road and cannot help you stay alert to your surroundings.
Myth #3 – Speaking hands-free is safe
Even if you are speaking hands-free, you are still distracted by the conversation. Studies show that a driver talking on the phone can miss up to 50% of the driving environment, including pedestrians, red lights, and more.
Myth #4 – Only using your phone at a stop light is okay
Even if you are sitting at a stop light, it still very important to remain attentive and aware of your surroundings. According to a recent AAA study, people are distracted for up to 27 seconds while sending a text message. This leaves you totally unaware of what’s going on around you.
Myth #5 – Voice to text is safe while driving
Using voice to text is still incredibly distracting to a driver, both mentally and physically. First, you must think about what you want to say and speak carefully so the voice detection picks up what you say. Afterwards, you become distracted by checking to see if the voice detection wrote the right message. Correcting common autocorrect errors is a dangerous visual distraction.
Roughly 100 people die everyday due to car accidents, with 94% of those accidents due to driver error. That’s why Distracted Driving Awareness month is important. Drivers need to be aware of the myths surrounding multitasking while driving so that they do not become a part of statistics such as these.
If you have any further questions, or have been involved in an accident due to distracted driving or otherwise, the John Price Law Firm is ready to help. Contact us online or at (843) 552-6011.