April Is Distracted Driving Awareness Month in South Carolina
Most of us have done less driving this year than we have in any year since we first got our driver’s licenses. Even if your job required you to work onsite, you probably didn’t go many places this year besides work, the supermarket, and home. The most social among us may have attended a few drive-by birthday celebrations early in the pandemic, but most birthday greetings this year took the form of Zoom calls and Facebook messages. Now that pandemic-era restrictions have begun to relax, we are relearning our social skills, from making eye contact in person to office microwave etiquette. After being glued to our phones for a year, we will have to learn again not to let our phones distract us while we drive. If you have been injured in a distracted driving accident, contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer.
How Big a Problem Is Distracted Driving?
Almost anything can be a distraction while you are driving, but cell phones are the main thing that competes for the attention of drivers. Since the advent of smartphones, so many accidents have resulted from drivers taking their eyes away from the road to look at their phone screens that many states, including South Carolina, have enacted laws that impose penalties for drivers who interact with their phone screens when driving or engage in phone conversations when the phone is not in hands-free mode.
Just how big is the problem, though? Every day, distracted driving causes an average of eight fatal car accidents in the United states; this figure does not even include the accidents that cause survivable but debilitating injuries. Young people are the most vulnerable to cell phone distractions while driving; a quarter of the victims in distracted driving fatality accidents in 2018 were in their twenties.
How to Avoid Cell Phone Distractions While Driving
Breaking the distracted driving habit takes practice, but here are some things you can do to stop your phone from taking your eyes away from the road:
- If you hear a text message alert while you are driving and think that it is about something urgent, pull onto the shoulder or into a parking lot to respond to the message.
- If a friend or family member is riding in your front passenger seat, make them the designated texter, whether they are using their phone or yours.
- If your phone automatically connects to your car audio, important phone calls can reach you, and you can call for help in an emergency, so there is no need to see your phone. Keep it in your purse or the glove compartment of your car until you reach your destination.
The bad news is that you have a lot less control over other people’s focus while driving than you do on yours, but protecting yourself from getting distracted will also help you protect yourself from other drivers who are not paying attention.
Let Us Help You Today
A Columbia car accident lawyer can help you if you were injured in a car accident where the driver at fault didn’t see you because of cell phone distractions. Contact The Stanley Law Group for a consultation.