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Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is a factor in many serious Alabama car accidents. Distracted drivers cause many needless injuries and deaths on our highways. At the Blackwell Law Firm, we have helped many Alabama families following a serious injury. We prepare our cases fully in order to obtain the maximum compensation for each individual client. Outside the courtroom, we believe in continuing to advocate for safer highways. We have written numerous articles discussing the types of distracted driving -- Cognitive, Manual and Visual. In our articles we also discuss many ways to reduce this deadly driving danger. You can find these articles on our law firm blog by clicking the link to our website at the end of this slide presentation. We welcome comments and questions.

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Distracted Driving Awareness Month

  2. 2. What are the three main types of driver distraction? MANUAL VISUAL COGNITIVE
  3. 3. MANUAL DISTRACTION Activities where the driver moves his or her hands away from controlling the vehicle.
  4. 4. VISUAL DISTRACTION Activities where the driver focuses his or her eyes away from the road.
  5. 5. COGNITIVE DISTRACTION Activities where the driver’s mind wanders away from the task of driving.
  6. 6. COGNITIVE DISTRACTION • Talking to passengers in the car • Daydreaming • Listening to the radio or another device • Feeling stressed or exhausted VISUAL DISTRACTION • Looking for items in the car • Watching electronic devices • Observing billboards • Viewing the radio display MANUAL DISTRACTION • Eating or drinking while driving • Reaching for items in the car • Adjusting the radio • Using a navigation device
  7. 7. Why Is Texting So Dangerous? Texting is especially dangerous because it involves all three types of distraction at the same time. A person who is texting takes their hands, eyes and mind from the task of driving.
  8. 8. Texting while driving causes MANUAL, VISUAL and COGNITIVE distraction.
  9. 9. When a person texts, they take their eyes, hands and mind from the task of driving. At a speed of 55 miles per hour, a texting driver can easily travel longer than the length of a football field without paying any attention to the roadway around them..
  10. 10. Cell phones may be the primary source of dangerous driver distraction. Yet, they are not the only source. Drivers face many other dangerous distractions.
  13. 13. We Must Strengthen The LAW Many states (including Alabama) have laws that are far too weak. In Alabama: • Current law is limited in application. The law has not been evaluated over time to consider changing distractions impacting drivers. • Current law contains minimal penalties. Distracted driving puts lives at risk. Yet, the legal fines are minimal.
  14. 14. Distracted driving is a factor in many car accidents on Alabama roads and highways. Many needless injuries and deaths could be prevented by strengthening current law to address new distractions and to provide real penalties.
  15. 15. We Must Utilize Available TECHNOLOGY Technology can reduce driving distractions and their danger. Both car features and phone software could be used to save lives. Here are a few safety options: • Car safety features can include systems for forward collision warning, lane departure warning, automatic emergency braking, and forward display. • Cellphones can include a Do Not Disturb mode while driving, software to deactivate features when your car reaches a certain speed, and tracking for parents to monitor their teenage driver.
  16. 16. BLOCKED WHILE DRIVING We can also use technology to create safety features and apps that reduce or eliminate distractions.
  17. 17. We Must Emphasize EDUCATION We should emphasize safety when educating new drivers: • According to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) study, teenage drivers are more likely to suffer a traffic accident than any other group. • A 2015 study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, found 58% of teenager-involved crashes were caused by distracted driving. • Explain to your teenage driver how to minimize potential distractions and keep focused on the road. Wireless devices are not the only distraction for new drivers.
  18. 18. Parents Must Lead By EXAMPLE A prior NPR survey revealed: • 50% of parents admitted texting their teenager knowing the teenager was driving. • 55% of parents admitted using cellphone apps while driving. • 62% of parents admitted checking incoming calls or talking on the cellphone while driving.
  19. 19. Our children are watching our behavior. All the safety talk in the world will have little impact if our kids see us continuously driving in a reckless or dangerous manner. As parents, what should we do? We should consciously choose to set the example in our driving conduct as well as our speech.
  20. 20. BLACKWELL LAW FIRM 120 HOLMES AVE NE #401 HUNTSVILLE, AL 35801 (256) 261-1315