The roads in Alabama can be dangerous at any time and for many reasons. With drivers who speed, are under the influence, are drowsy and behave in a reckless manner, auto accidents are common due to driver behavior. In addition, weather can also lead to crashes. However, distracted driving has quickly shot near the top of reasons why accidents occur.
This has grown so problematic that there are continuous educational programs to teach drivers not to be distracted behind the wheel. This is especially prevalent with teens and experts seek to nip the challenge in the bud. Also, April was dedicated to preventing distracted driving. Still, the behavior continues and people who were in an accident because of perceived distraction must think about their future.
Safety group encourages teens to be aware of distracted driving dangers
With summer on its way, Alabama teens are being educated about the risk of distracted driving. Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is an organization that emphasizes road safety to teens. Since the most dangerous time on the road in general is over the summer from Memorial Day through Labor Day, SADD is addressing safety with teens more than ever.
The CEO of SADD states that in Alabama, teens are in 12% of auto accidents. This is a large number considering the relatively small number of teens who are on the road: 6%. Distracted driving is a common cause of these collisions. While cellphone use is a prominent source of distraction, there are others. These include drinking alcohol, eating food, changing the radio and interacting with passengers.
Distracted Driving Awareness Month also tries to highlight the problem
April was dedicated to distracted driving prevention and this applies to everyone, not just teens. From 2016 to 2020, there were approximately 10,000 accidents in the state. A safety expert believes that distraction played a role in many accidents. Looking down at a device for five seconds when traveling at highway speed allows a person to travel half a football field while not watching the road. This puts everyone sharing the road in jeopardy. In those five years, 71 people lost their lives and there were approximately 600 serious injuries. An estimated 2,000 people had minor injuries.
When there is an accident, it must be determined if distraction was a factor
Distracted driving added a new and unexpected danger to the roadways and did so with amazing speed. From when handheld cellphones came into existence to the present, they rapidly became part of everyday life with people growing accustomed to being in touch and having access to a wealth of information in a matter of seconds. This has led to people being unable to avoid touching the device and using it at any opportunity whether they are doing something else – like driving – that requires their undivided attention and is inherently dangerous.
Teens are particularly vulnerable to texting, taking photos, making videos, checking social media, checking the web and making calls when behind the wheel of a vehicle. Combining that with the natural inexperience and riskiness of teen drivers, the foundation is in place for auto accidents with injuries and death. For Alabama residents, being in a distracted driving crash can change or end their lives. Even if they are lucky enough to survive, they can still be saddled with enormous medical bills they cannot hope to pay, problems working and contributing to a family.
Often, the only way to recover all that was lost is by considering legal options. After a collision, knowing whether it was because of distraction or due to some other reason is critical when deciding on a path forward. Discussing the case with those who are embedded in the community, pay attention to their clients’ needs, have a wealth of experience and care about what happens can be essential to holding distracted drivers accountable.