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Atlee Hall Participates in End Distracted Driving to Raise Safety Awareness and Prevent Teen Deaths

Robin Jabour

In the year 2013 alone, 963,000 drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were involved in police-reported motor vehicle crashes. Almost 400,000 injuries resulted from these crashes and tragically, 2,865 deaths. These are sobering statistics themselves, but when the cause of such accidents is studied and revealed, the statistics become even more troublesome.

According to a recent study, young driver distraction and/or inattentiveness was determined to be the cause of approximately 58% of crashes overall. Thus, in 44% of loss-of-control crashes, 51% of angle crashes, 76% of rear-end crashes, and a whopping 89% of road departure crashes, driver distraction was determined to be the cause.

When we think of all the distractions for drivers, especially young drivers, we automatically think of cell phone usage and texting. According to the study, cell phone usage played a role in 12% of crashes. It was also determined that drivers operating or looking at cell phones looked away from the forward roadway excessively, and even spent an average of 4.1 seconds out of the final 6 seconds before a crash looking away. That leaves only 1.9 seconds of reaction time, and consequently, very little hope of accident avoidance.

Many states, including Pennsylvania, have recognized the problem and have taken measures to reduce the number of incidents involving distracted driving. Pennsylvania, for one, has a regulation which fines drivers who text or use an email device while driving. In Pennsylvania, violation of this law is a summary offense and punishable by a $50 fine.

Of course, cell phone usage and texting are not the only distractions for drivers. Driver interaction with other passengers in the vehicle is also a big concern and was found to be a cause of 15% of crashes. Other notable driver distractions include eating, drinking, smoking, adjusting radio stations or changing music, searching for objects in a vehicle, rubber-necking or looking at something on the side of the roadway, and grooming.

April is distracted driving month. At Atlee Hall, we believe that becoming aware of the problems presented by distracted driving is the first step toward preventing tragedies which occur as a result. Our attorneys participate in offering distracted driving presentations to Driver’s Education classes in local high schools to raise awareness for this issue and to promote safe driving. If you know of a group or organization which would be interested in a distracted driving presentation to young drivers, you can email us at info@atleehall.com or call 800-924-2309 to express interest.

Losing one life to a vehicle crash which could have been avoided is one too many. Preventing one parent’s grief over the senseless loss of a child is enough of a reason to try to make a difference.

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