The National Safety Council, which pushes and promotes nationwide personal safety initiatives, has declared April Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The declaration comes in the wake of some bad news that the number of fatalities on this nation's roadways is on the rise. More than 40,000 people died in car accidents over the last year, which marks a 6 percent increase in traffic fatalities since 2015. The National Safety Council believes that the ongoing presence of distracted drivers on the road is at least partially to blame for the increase in the number of deaths.
While the Council mentioned distractions related to cell phones and other electronic equipment, another report has indicated that drivers get distracted for a variety of reasons. For instance, while cell phone use accounted for just under 15 percent of all fatal car accidents broadly categorized as related to distracted driving, simple daydreaming accounted for over 60 percent of such accidents.
Other common causes of fatal distracted driving incidents included rubbernecking at an object outside the car, playing with the car's controls, reaching back to another part of the car to get something and even just talking with another passenger.
As the Safety Council observed, though, distracted driving accidents are always preventable. All it takes to stop a distracted driving accident is for a motorist to keep his or her eyes and mind on the road and engaged in the task at hand. To not do so is to put the lives of others at risk.
New Orleans residents who have been hurt in a car accident may have legal options if their injuries were caused by a distracted driver. They can pursue compensation for things like lost wages, unpaid medical bills, pain and suffering and other damages.