Our Portland car accident lawyers want to point out to motorists in Maine that they have one more thing to put on their calendars. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month according to a recent announcement by National Safety Council.
We frequently post on our Maine Injury Lawyer Blog about the dangers of distracted driving and how many times talking or texting on a cell phone can lead to serious or even fatal car accident in Bangor, Portland or elsewhere in the state.
Following an almost unanimous vote by the U. . House of Representatives last month, the National Safety Council (NSC) and FocusDriven (an advocate group opposed to distracted driving) are announcing the inauguration of April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
The resolution was brought to the House by Betsy Markey (D-CO) following the tragic death of Erica Forney who was struck and killed by a distracted driver in November 2008.
“Erica’s memory will forever live on through this resolution and help prevent other distracted driving deaths from occurring,” said Shelley Forney, Erica’s mother and founding board member of FocusDriven.
The two non-profit organizations are asking motorists to promise during the month of April to not use their cell phones while they drive. It is estimated that 1.6 million crashes occur each year because of a driver who is talking or texting on their cell phone while they are behind the wheel.
Drivers are being asked to turn off or silence their cell phones while they drive. A further precaution that can be used is to put your cell phone in the glove compartment or trunk to reduce the temptation to reply to a phone call or text alert on your cell phone while you drive. Drivers are encouraged to create a temporary voicemail which alerts callers you are driving. By letting the caller know that you can’t respond at the time, it will stop them from repeatedly leaving messages for you while you drive.
“Many drivers realize most of the calls they thought were so important, really aren’t. It is our hope drivers will decide to make the change permanently. Doing so will make our roadways safer for everyone,” said Jennifer Smith, FocusDriven president and founding board member.
Businesses are also being asked to participate in the awareness by creating and enforcing cell phone policies to protect employees. Many companies offer cell phones to their employees but few have a policy in place to discourage them from using their phone while they drive.
“National Distracted Driving Awareness Month also is the perfect opportunity for businesses to implement cell phone policies to protect employees. When businesses allow employees to conduct business on cell phones while driving, they are putting their employees at a 4 times greater risk of a crash,” said Janet Froetscher, NSC president and CEO.
Employers are encouraged to view the Cell Phone Policy Kit provided by the NSC to devise a policy that will keep your employees safe.
Peter Thompson & Associates are personal injury lawyers in Portland and Bangor dedicated to fighting for the rights of victims and their families. If you have been injured in a distracted driving or other car-related accident in Maine, call us at 1-800-804-2004 to set up a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights.