Curbing Distracted Driving — With a Tweet?
Lawmakers and safety advocates in Colorado and elsewhere throughout the country have been trying for years to figure out how to keep drivers safe while traveling on area roadways. Still, automobile accidents occur for various reasons on a daily basis. One of the reasons for such concern stems from the number of accidents that occur due to driver distraction.
Some Stats to Consider
Distracted driving is such a serious issue that the federal government established a website (Distraction.gov) to provide drivers and passengers with a variety of information that is meant to help everyone understand the severity of the problem. For instance, in case someone does not know what qualifies as “distracted driving,” the website defines it in clear, easy-to-understand language:
“Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.”
The site further notes various types of distractions, including eating/drinking while driving, using navigation systems, making adjustments to an MP3 player or radio, and of course, using a phone to text or use other “smart” features.
The statistics that have been gathered with respect to distracted driving are astounding. Distraction.gov notes that over 3,000 individuals were killed and over 430,000 were injured in 2014 as a result of accidents involving distracted drivers. Additionally, about 660,000 drivers all across the country either manipulate electronic devices or use cell phones while operating a motor vehicle.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in an effort to combat the problem, has come up with an interesting new campaign that includes the popular social media site, Twitter.
The NHTSA has started sending messages to certain people who have actually admitted through tweets that they text and drive, as well as to passengers who are seeking advice on how to stop the person with whom they’re riding from texting while driving.
Some of the drivers who admitted to texting while driving received a text from the NHTSA that simply said: “put down your phones and #justdrive.” Some of the messages were even more general than that, responding to one passenger who commented that she was mad at the fact that her dad texts and drive with a simple, “We feel you….” One driver received the tweet and he tweeted back that he would never text and drive again — to which the NHTSA responded with a thumbs up.
The Administration has also posted a message stating that about 73 percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 admitted to texting while driving and encouraging drivers of all ages to avoid becoming a statistic. They also posted a video of a mother and daughter that shows the daughter’s scar after an automobile accident that was caused by a distracted driver.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident that you believe was caused by a distracted driver, contact Levine Law, a Denver accident law firm, right away to discuss your rights and options under the law.