Distracted driving is one of the top causes of car accident death in the United States. Unfortunately, while most people know it is really dangerous to drive while they are distracted, drivers still do it every single day.
The National Safety Council is trying to discourage this risky behavior by emphasizing the dangers throughout Distracted Driving Month.
Our Bangor accident attorneys know that Distracted Driving Month runs through April and will include both educational outreach programs as well as tougher enforcement of distracted driving laws. We urge every driver in Maine to give up distractions that take your eyes or mind away from the road.
Distracted Driving Dangers in Maine
As the Bangor Daily News reported in 2009, Maine lawmakers took a novel approach to distracted driving by allowing police to cite drivers who committed violations that law enforcement believed occurred as a result of driving while distracted. For example, if a driver ran a red light but police believed that it happened because of driver distraction, the driver could be cited for his lack of focus.
There are several different types of distractions that could result in a driver taking his mind off the road, all of which can be dangerous. For example, distractions include:
- Visual distractions: Taking the eyes off of the road and focusing on something else like a GPS or a text message.
- Manual distraction: Removing the hands from the wheel and using them to do something else like brush your hair, eat or change the music.
- Cognitive distractions: Focusing your brain on something other than driving, such as talking to a passenger or having a cell phone conversation.
Any of these types of distractions can significantly up your risk of a crash. However, perhaps the most dangerous of all distracted driving behaviors is texting because the distraction may fall into all three categories. Your hands could be on the phone; your eyes on the phone and your brain on the message you are sending.
Because texting is so dangerous, Maine also has a separate ban on texting as well as the general distracted driving law. Under Maine’s texting ban, texting is prohibited by all drivers.
NSC has also chosen to focus distracted driving month primarily on cell phone use, creating a pledge to drive text free.
NSC will be touching upon other issues including helping people to understand the dangers of cognitive distractions while driving. However, its website makes clear that it is cell phones especially that it wants to emphasize the dangers of. This decision makes sense when so many people are using cell phones to talk or text and when texting is so deadly.
Hopefully, Distracted Driving Month will be successful and drivers will make and follow through with the pledge to put the cell phones away while driving. This simple choice could save thousands of lives.
If you are the victim of a Bangor traffic accident, contact us at 1-800-804-2004 or read more on our website.
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