Governor’s Highway Safety Office Promotes Pledge to Stop Distracted Driving
The Governor’s Highway Safety Office is highlighting awareness of April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month by encouraging drivers to sign a sign a pledge to end distracted driving.
Distracted driving is a growing problem year after year in Tennessee, and it continues to contribute to more and more accidents throughout the state.
A report by wkrn.com states that motorists in Tennessee can go to the downtown Highway Safety Office and sign the pledge while also picking up a “Thumbs Down” sticker that indicates they are doing their part to never text and drive.
A study by the Department of Safety and Homeland Security found that 21,000 automobile accidents in 2014 were directly related to distracted driving. Out of those 21,000 accidents, 47 proved fatal.
The problem is particularly prominent in the Middle Tennessee area, as 10,000 distracted driving crashes have been reported in 2010 in Davidson County. The Governor’s Highway Safety Office hopes the pledge will both bring awareness to the dangers of texting and driving and encourage more drivers to put their phones down while behind the wheel.
At Matt Hardin Law, our Nashville car accident lawyers know how dangerous texting and driving can be, and we applaud the efforts of the Governor’s Highway Safety Office to increase awareness of its potential to cause serious and even life-threatening accidents.
What Makes Distracted Driving So Dangerous?
Distracted driving can be just as dangerous as driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs due to several reasons, such as:
- Distractions take their hands off the wheel.
When drivers text, reach for something in the passenger seat, or even just change the radio station, they take their hands off the wheel for a brief time period. Drivers who take their hands off the wheel for even a brief moment can temporarily lose control of their vehicles—and even a momentarily loss of control is all it takes to cause an accident. In addition, trying to regain control of their vehicles can cause drivers to overcorrect their steering, which can also lead to serious accidents.
- Distractions take their eyes off the road.
Safe driving requires constant vigilance and awareness of what’s happening on the road ahead. When drivers take part in behaviors that cause their eyes to leave the roadway from even a brief moment, it’s the equivalent to briefly falling asleep behind the wheel. Looking away from the road for even one second is long enough for drivers to fail to notice cars stopping in front of them, dangerous curves ahead of their vehicle, or their own vehicle drifting into another lane.
- Distractions take their minds off the task at hand.
Just like safe driving requires hands on the wheel and eyes on the road at all times, it also requires uninterrupted concentration and focus. That makes even hands-free devices, like voice activated cell phones or stereo systems, potentially as distracting as those that require manual inputs. It’s important for drivers to reduce or eliminate anything that divers their attention away from keeping themselves, their families, and other motorists safe on the roadway at all times.
As modern society becomes more and more dependent on technology, distracted driving will continue to be a temptation for many drivers. However, pledges and awareness campaigns like the ones started by the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office can go a long way toward making drivers understand the impact of taking their hands, eyes, and minds off the road.
If you or someone you love was injured by a distracted driver, contact the Nashville car accident lawyers at Matt Hardin Law today. We’ve handled many cases like yours in the past, and we know what it takes to get the compensation you deserve. Just dial (615) 200-1111 or fill out a free online form.