April marks Distracted Driving Awareness Month, an important time to recognize the dangers of distracted driving, especially considering the unfortunate heightened chances of encountering a distracted driver in 2022 than years past.
Dating back decades, new technologies like car stereos, cell phones, and text messaging – while useful to the everyday person – have caused distracted driving to become a much more common and dangerous issue nationwide.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “Drivers talking by cell phone drove significantly worse than drivers talking to passengers. Cell-phone users were four times more likely to miss pulling off the highway at the rest area.” In 2020, over 3,142 people were killed in a motor vehicle accident involving at least one distracted driving (NHTSA). Those are 3,142 not only tragic, but preventable deaths. Because of this, lawsuits are often filed due to the accident caused by someone else’s negligence.
Simply put, cell phone usage leads to a higher chance of a deadly motor vehicle accident. Distracted driving should never be taken lightly.
In an effort to address distracted driving, new laws have been passed nationwide to regulate the use of cell phones during the operation of a motor vehicle. Alabama has followed this trend, enacting new laws with the goal of reducing distracted driving related accidents and deaths.
Alabama’s initial effort to put a halt to cell phone use while behind the wheel came in 2010. That year, over 1,400 accidents involved at least one texting driver. The state was then quick to ban texting while driving. In 2012, Alabama Code Title 32-5A-350 went into effect, stating that, “handheld communication device may not be used during the operation of a motor vehicle by new drivers.”
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However, distracted driving is not solely restricted to cell phone use. Seemingly simple tasks you may try to achieve while behind the wheel such as shuffling music on your car stereo, digging through your purse to grab a piece of gum, or eating food are all considered multitasking. You should never multitask while driving, as even these activities that may seem safer than using a cell phone can be the cause of an accident.
And while texting and driving is prohibited for all Alabama drivers and cell phone usage has been particularly restricted for novice drivers, many believe that these laws are not strict enough to prevent distracted driving. One study shows that, while you’re reading this, about 660,000 drivers nationwide are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.
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At Cory Watson Attorneys, we believe that texting while driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, and we urge all drivers to stop this reckless activity. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of an automobile collision that involved a distracted driver, it is important that you act immediately to protect your rights. Call (877) 562-0000 now or complete the free online consultation form on this page. The attorneys at Cory Watson are experienced in representing victims of negligence and are ready to assist you today.