April is Distracted Driving Awareness MonthApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which is a unified effort across the United States to recognize the risks and dangers of distractions behind the wheel. This campaign aims to encourage drivers everywhere to acknowledge the hazards that distractions create when behind the wheel with the goal of preventing crashes that cause serious and even fatal injuries on our roads and highways.

Our Framingham car accident lawyers often see severe, life-changing injuries in our line of work as personal injury attorneys. Many of the accidents we deal with are caused by distracted drivers. Noticing an increase in distraction related crashes, we are doing our part to promote distraction-free driving. See our tips below to avoid distracted-related crashes and help prevent injuries and potentially save lives.

The Alarming Dangers of Distracted Driving

It has been reported that our roadways and highways are the most dangerous they have ever been. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly one thousand people are severely injured and almost ten people are killed daily in distraction related car crashes. In 2018, research data revealed that well over 4,600 people were fatally injured in car accidents due to driver’s cell phone and electronic device use.

The above statistics should encourage drivers to avoid distractions when driving.  In the busy world we live in, we sometimes forget about the dangers of distracted driving – that is, until it’s too late. Do not become a statistic. Take some time to remind yourself and others to put down the cell phone and focus on safe driving. It will keep everyone safe and help save lives.  

Three Tips to Avoid Distractions Behind the Wheel

While there are many suggestions to prevent distractions while driving, below are the top three we recommend following when behind the wheel:

1. Put the Phone Down

This should come as no surprise, as this tip is always at the number one spot. When driving, put your phone down. Using your phone while driving is extremely dangerous. We understand how it can be hard to power your phone off. If you leave it on, before driving off to your destination, make sure it’s connected to Bluetooth so you can use handsfree technology if you must answer or make a call. However, your text or social media post can wait. Studies have shown that drivers using their phones while operating their vehicles spend roughly 10% of their time out of their driving lanes. That puts you and other drivers and passenger at a substantial risk of serious injury or death. So, do everyone a favor and put your phone down when driving.

2. Input Your Destination into GPS before You Drive

Many drivers get into their cars and while traveling begin entering their destination into their GPS devices. This takes your focus off the road and safe driving. Sure, many GPS operate by voice control. I’m sure we’ve all had those experiences where your GPS asks for the city or town, and when you say “Framingham” or “Natick” it selects a different city or town. It’s frustrating and usually causes us to try and input our destination manually. This is extremely dangerous. The safest decision is to input your destination before you put your car in drive.

3. Eat Before You Drive

It seems that we are all in a rush nowadays. We live busy lives. We rush to get to work. We rush to get home from work. We rush to get our kids to school, practice, and games. So, we try to shave some time off here and there. One way we try to save some time is by eating behind the wheel. This often leads to distracted driving. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been on the Massachusetts Turnpike heading into Boston for court and notice a car swerving into my lane. I look over and see another driver eating a breakfast sandwich and drinking a coffee (probably on the phone too). You should really do your best to eat before you get behind the wheel. The consequences of being severely injured or injuring someone else is not worth the extra two minutes of your time. Please try to focus on safe driving.

Following these simple tips will help keep your focus and attention on the safe operation of your car and, in turn, may save lives. It may also keep you vigilant while driving to timely react to other distracted drivers and use defensive driving techniques. Also, help spread the word. Don’t be afraid to tell a driver, whether it be a friend or family member, to avoid distractions while you are a passenger in their car.

Our Framingham Injury Lawyers Are Here If You Are Injured by a Distracted Driver

No one ever leave the house with the anticipation of being seriously injured in a car accident. Unfortunately, there is always a risk of being injured in a car crash when we get into a vehicle. Sometimes, no matter careful we are to avoid distracted driving, we cannot control what other drivers do while they are behind the wheel.

If you are a victim of a car accident in Massachusetts that was caused by a negligent (or distracted) driver, you have the right to seek financial compensation for the injuries you suffered and the financial losses you incur. Insurance companies, however, generally challenge personal injury claims, even in crashes that were caused by distracted drivers.

An experienced accident lawyer will be able to evaluate your case and educate you on personal injury claims from car accidents. Being fully informed about the Massachusetts injury claims’ process will help you and your family make the right decisions after a crash as well as protect your legal rights. Our Framingham car accident lawyers offer free case evaluations and will explain how your medical bills and lost wages will be paid and how to go about getting the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Charles S. Pappas
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Massachusetts injury & workers' compensation attorney serving accident victims in Webster & Framingham.
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