Here’s a statistic that should make you immediately resolve to stay more alert and watchful for distracted motorists while driving. According to new statistics released by the federal administration, at any given moment in the day, as many as 660,000 Americans are using their cell phones to have conversations or send and read text messages while they are at the wheel of their cars or trucks.
The results of the survey were released by the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in order to mark National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. According to the statistics which came from the 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey, the numbers of drivers using cell phones at the wheel remain mostly unchanged since 2010.
More than 6,000 respondents above the age of 16 were included in the survey. Approximately 50% of the motorists admitted that they would answer an incoming call on the cell phone even at the wheel. One in 4 drivers admitted that they were willing to place a call while driving on all, or most, or some of their trips.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has translated the statistics into plain language, and according to the agency, in 2011, at the rate of 212 million licensed motorists across the country, there were about 102 million drivers who were frequently using their cell phones while driving. There were about 50 million drivers who were placing calls while driving.
In spite of the bombardment of the anti-distracted driving message across the country through Public Service Announcements and media campaigns, these practices remain ubiquitous. This April is the right time to make the possibly life-saving resolution to never use a cell phone while driving.
Parents need to make a special effort to set good examples for their teenage children. Teenage drivers are some of the heaviest consumers of smart phones and also some of the biggest users of social networking sites like Facebook. This means that they’re constantly under pressure to stay in touch with their friends even while they are driving, leading to widespread and unrestricted cell phone use at the wheel.
If you are a passenger in a car that is being driven by a distracted driver, speak up. It could save yours and other people’s lives.
What about the rest of the population that’s very conscientious about not using cell phones while driving? Your best bet is to wear your seat belt at all times in order to avoid injuries in an accident caused by distracted driver. Make sure that everyone else in your car is also wearing seat belts. As the statistics show, there are far too many American motorists, using cell phones while driving, with possibly devastating highway safety consequences for motorists around them.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy, LLP represent persons injured in auto accidents across Indiana.