« Back to Blog
Distracted Driving in Pennsylvania
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and an article published today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette highlighted a major statistic on the effects of when drivers aren’t focused on the road: 3,477 people are killed because of distracted driving each year.
While the federal government estimates that the number of drivers having cell phone conversations during any moment of the day is down to 6 percent (a number that has decreased by 28 percent in the last five years), other things, such as stereo controls and driver behavior, are also to blame.
In the story, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) cites four things that can further improve those statistics:
- Roadway Design: When roads are harder to navigate, it forces us to pay attention. For example, traffic roundabouts actually increase safety because drivers must focus on the road as they yield to other vehicles. “When comparing a roundabout to a signal, studies show that roundabouts provide a 90 percent reduction in fatal crashes, 75 percent reduction in injury crashes and a 30 percent reduction in pedestrian crashes,” reported the article. To decrease both delays and distracted driving, PennDOT plans to boost the number of traffic roundabouts in the coming years.
- Vehicle Design: Intuitive voice-activated systems are helpful in allowing drivers to make their calls with their eyes on the road. Automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings and crash avoidance systems are helpful in preventing accidents due to distracted driving, noted the article.
- Phone/App Design: An app by Esurance gives drivers feedback on risky behaviors and helps prevent distracted driving. The DriveHealthy app in Oregon allows you to lock your phone while you’re behind the wheel and compete with friends and family for high scores.
- Personal Responsibility: Ultimately, it comes down to individuals making focused driving a priority. As the article notes, “A text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds…more than enough time to make a fatal mistake.”
If you have a situation where a trucking accident or motor vehicle accident has occurred and you would like to talk to an experienced injury attorney in Philadelphia, please contact us.