The month of April is designated as distracted driving month. The goal is to increase drivers’ awareness of the potential dangers, in the hopes of reducing the overall amount of serious and potentially fatal car accidents and injuries.
There are a variety of distractions that cause drivers to divert their attention from the road. Even otherwise seemingly harmless activities, such as adjusting vehicle settings or using hands-free devices could put you and your passengers at risk. The following outlines the dramatic impact that being distracted has on your driving abilities, as well as some common myths and facts about multitasking behind the wheel.
The Impact of Distracted Driving In South Carolina
The South Carolina Highway Patrol (SCHP) has included distracted driving as part of its Target Zero Campaign to reduce the overall number of car accident fatalities. More than 200 people are killed each year in traffic accidents in the state. While only a quarter of these are directly attributed to distracted driving, the SCHP notes that cases often go unreported and the actual number may be much higher.
The SCHP defines distracted driving as engaging in any activity that causes you to divert your attention from the task of driving. The includes:
- General inattentiveness
- Talking on cellphones and texting
- Eating and drinking while driving
- Attending to objects outside or inside the vehicle
- Manipulating vehicle controls
Cellphone use is particularly dangerous. The SCHP states that the degree of cognitive impairment associated with any handheld device is similar to driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level of .08, and these drivers are four times more likely to be involved in crashes and collisions.
Myths and Facts About Multitasking and Driver Distractions
Many drivers use their drive time to multitask and catch up on calls, check emails, or perform personal tasks. Unfortunately, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports that multitasking is largely a myth, and that the human brain cannot engage in two activities at once. Other myths associated with distracted driving include:
- Talking on a cellphone is the same as talking to passengers. False: Adult passengers can see what is going on and warn you of potential dangers, whereas a caller cannot.
- Using a hands-free device is okay. False: Even with a hands-free device, you are likely to miss seeing 50 percent of the things occurring around you.
- It is safe to use a cellphone at stop lights or when stopped in traffic. False: Studies show you remain distracted for as much as 30 seconds after a call or text.
- Voice to text is safe. False: Even if you are not texting directly, you still end up looking at your phone and correcting errors.
Get Help With Your Case Today
If you are injured in a distracted driving accident, contact the Anastopoulo Law Firm right away. Our South Carolina car accident attorneys provide the professional legal representation you need to hold reckless drivers accountable so you can get the compensation you deserve.