Thursday, April 29, 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010: Put the Phone Away Day – Stop Distracted Driving

I see it on a daily basis and I’m sure you do too…you’re driving down the road, and someone makes a dumb maneuver, and you look over and the driver has a cell phone plastered to his or her head. I am the first to admit, I’m guilty of talking on the cell phone while I’m driving, but I’m determined to make a concerted effort to stop doing this. The fact of the matter is, it’s dangerous. In Minnesota, texting while driving is illegal, and if you have a permit or provisional license, talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal. If you are in an accident while you’re texting or while you’re on the phone, your use of your cell phone at the time of the crash may the basis for a negligence lawsuit against you. It’s just not worth the risk.

Friday, April 30, 2010 is “National No Phone Day,” as part of an effort by the U.S. Department of Transportation to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, and in particular, the dangers of texting or using a cell phone while driving.

Studies have consistently shown that distracted driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. In 2009, the Washington Post concluded that every year, cell phone distraction causes 342,000 auto accident injuries and $43 billion each year in property damage, lost wages, medical bills and fatalities.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, distraction, including text-messaging or cell phone use, was a factor in at least 15 percent of all fatal crashes between 2005-2007, resulting in 240 deaths. Another 1,163 individuals suffered catastrophic injuries as a result of distracted driving crashes during this period.

Director of DPS Office of Traffic Safety Cheri Marti says “When you are composing or reading a text message, your focus is not on the road, and your hands definitely aren’t on the wheel. Driving is a multitasking activity in itself that requires complete attention.”

Even Oprah has joined the campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Click here to watch her public service video about cell phone use while driving.

If you’re injured in a car accident, you may be entitled to no-fault personal injury protection benefits and you may have the right to bring a civil liability claim against the at-fault driver.

If you’ve suffered injuries as the result of a car accident, contact Meuser & Associates, P.A., for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn about your rights. Call us at 877-746-5680 or click here to send us an email to speak with one of our attorneys.

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