April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the US Department of Transportation (DOT) is once again announcing their “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” safety campaign. From April 10-15, state and local law enforcement officers will be aggressively ticketing drivers who drive while distracted, primarily by using mobile devices and, especially, texting while driving.
In his announcement of the campaign, Secretary Anthony Fox made a forceful statement: “Distracted driving kills, there is no excuse for it, and it must stop. Texting and driving will at least cost you the price of a ticket but it could very well cost you your life or someone else’s.”
Given the overwhelming statistical evidence suggesting the dangers of texting while driving, the Maine car accident attorneys at Hardy, Wolf & Downing are more than willing to throw our support behind this campaign, in hopes that heightened awareness will lead to lower incidences of accidents, injuries, and deaths.
Maine distracted driving accident lawyers
Like drivers who get behind the wheel while intoxicated, drivers who text while they operate a vehicle put innocent lives at risk. If you have been involved in an accident in which you were the victim of someone else’s distracted driving, please contact Hardy, Wolf & Downing to learn the facts about your legal rights.
Unfortunately, accidents involving distracted driving are not at all rare. For instance, publications from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate that 10% of fatal crashes and 18% of crashes that involve injuries involved at least one driver who could be characterized as “distracted” while driving. A distraction could include eating or drinking coffee while driving, talking to other passengers, or changing radio stations. But texting and driving accounts for many of distracted driving incidents.
Many states, including Maine, prohibit texting while driving and penalties may involve fines and suspension of driver’s license. These prohibitions will no doubt be heavily enforced in the coming weeks. If distracted driving is found to be involved in a crash that results in injury or death, this factor will be taken into consideration as part of any lawsuit.
The death toll of distracted teenage drivers
The NHTSA reports that hundreds of people were killed in distracted driving related crashes in 2013, including 244 who were aged 15 to 19. Moreover, this group has the largest number of drivers reported as distracted during the time of a crash.
Mark Rosekind, who is administering the campaign along with Secretary Fox, pointed out that “Young people need to understand the dangers of texting and driving before it kills them or someone they love” and added that parents need to set a good example in this regard.
In addition to the heightened law enforcement in the next week, there will also be a $5 million media campaign reminding U.S. drivers of the dangers of distracted driving and of penalties for violating distracted driving laws. Some tips for safety including turning off all devices before driving, talking to teens about responsible driving practices, and having passengers offer to answer a call or text for a driver rather than having them operate a phone while driving.
Speak with an experienced car accident attorney in Maine
If you or a family member has been a victim of a distracted driving accident, don’t hesitate the contact the offices of Hardy, Wolf & Downing at 888-512-4065 to set up a no-cost consultation about a possible Maine texting & driving lawsuit. We have a proven record of getting justice for accident victims, including those who have been hurt because someone decided to text and drive.