April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

“One death is unacceptable: One death every 15 minutes is an outrage.” AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Motor vehicle-related injuries are the leading cause of death for those age 1 – 34. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The estimated annual cost of vehicle crashes is $230 billion. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

While significant progress has been made in reducing fatalities and injuries associated with motor vehicles, over 33,000 people died as a result of motor vehicle incidents in 2009. Officials say studies reveal that drivers who use handheld devices are four times as likely to be involved in serious traffic crashes that result in injuries.  Studies also shown that texting while driving delays a driver's reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a drunken driver.   Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.

"We recognize that convincing drivers to refrain from using cell phones or texting while driving isn't easy," said Christopher J. Murphy, director of the California’s Office of Traffic Safety. "It's very difficult to resist the urge to check an incoming text or answer a cell phone call.” 
To reduce risk, officials suggest the following:

• Turn off your phone or put it out of reach before starting the car.
• Alert callers that you are unable to receive calls when driving by changing your voicemail message.
• Make it a point not to call or text anyone who may be driving, such as during the commute to and from work or school, especially parents calling teen drivers.
• If you do need to make an important call or respond to a text message, pull over to a safe place to do so.
• If going cold turkey is too much of a stretch and you just can’t turn your phone off, consider using one of the available mobile phone applications that holds calls and incoming texts.

As Seattle accident attorneys, we hope that our readers will heed the information by the Distracted Driving Awareness campaign and take steps to improve their driving habits.  Think about the vast majority of calls and texts you send or receive every day. Were any really worth a crash, injury or death? It's simply not worth it.

Be safe!

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