When I first heard about Distracted Driving Awareness Month I thought it was a great idea. But shortly thereafter, I found myself thinking: Is there really anyone who does not know about the dangers of distracted driving? Really? But a recent study by the Travelers Companies helps explain why we need Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In a 2018 survey, the vast majority of drivers reported being concerned about distracted driving and the hazard it presents on the road. In fact, 85% of drivers believe it is “extremely risky” to use their smart phones while operating a vehicle. Yet, virtually a quarter of the people surveyed still do it. Here is a breakdown of some of the responses:
- 1 in 10 self-reported that they are “frequently” distracted by their phones or other technology while driving;
- FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) causes almost one-quarter of the respondents to make calls, text or send emails while driving.
- 25% of people think they can safely drive while texting, emailing, etc.
- More than 60% responded to incoming communications (texts, emails or calls) because they were afraid there was an emergency.
- And here is the scariest number of all: Nearly 40% of driver are distracted for 15 minutes of every hour driven!
So while we all may be aware of the dangers of distracted driving, too many of us are still doing it either because of FOMO or because of overconfidence (we think we are such good drivers that we can do it safely). For those with FOMO, using a customizable app that automatically responds to incoming communications with a note telling the sender that you are driving can help tremendously. If you do not get the message until you arrive, you are not tempted to respond. These apps work for those worried about emergencies too because they will allow a sender’s message to go through if it indicates it is urgent. Likewise, you can program the app to allow calls from your Favorites. Or you can program them to allow a call if the caller has called two times in a row.
Those who think they can safely drive while using their phones are going to be tougher nuts to crack and hence the need for things like Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Progress was finally made on drunk driving and it can be done for distracted driving too. So if you see a friend, family member or loved one engaging in distracted driving, be sure to point it out and have a discussion about it. Remind them of how dangerous it is, and that it is against the law. The more we hear about the dangers; the more likely we are to believe it.
At the Law Offices of John Day, we have been privileged to represent those who have been harmed by distracted driving, and would be honored to help you too. Our award-winning lawyers handle all accident cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we recover money for you and your family. To discuss whether you have a case, give us a call for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call us at 615-742-4880 (Nashville) or 615-867-9900 (Murfreesboro) or 866-812-8787 (toll-free).