Distracted driving is the new drunk driving: there’s no denying it. While deaths caused by drunk driving have been declining in the last several decades—thanks to tougher laws, better enforcement, and public education—distracted driving injuries and deaths have actually been on the rise.
DistractedDriving.gov reports that deaths from distracted driving decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. However, injuries increased a staggering 9 percent, from 387,000 to 421,000 in the same years.
States have already started cracking down by passing tougher laws. Now, what’s left is enforcement of those laws and public education on the dangers of distracted driving.
To help with this, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) launched the first distracted driving enforcement and advertising campaign last month, which is distracted driving awareness month.
The U.S. DOT secretary, Anthony Foxx, said of the campaign, “This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to encourage seatbelt use. Across the country, we’re putting distracted drivers on notice: If you’re caught texting while driving, the message you receive won’t be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement.”
The campaign urges motorists to turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting the car, to be good role models for teen drivers, and to wear a seat belt to protect against unsafe drivers. The campaign also tells passengers to speak up if the driver is texting.
Distracted driving crashes can be some of the most deadly car accidents. Distracted drivers may run off the road, rear-end another car, or even get into a head-on collision. You can see just how devastating a distracted driving-related car accident can be by watching the DOT’s video. (Warning: the video is disturbing, though not graphic. It is a dramatization.)
If you’ve been injured in a car accident with a distracted driver, call a personal injury attorney in Alabama as soon as possible.