by Tim O’Hare
Each year, thousands of people are killed and even more are injured in car accidents. Sadly, many of those accidents are preventable. Distracted or inattentive driving, texting while driving, failure to abide by the rules of the road or drunk driving — all of these are factors that can lead to a serious or even deadly automobile accident. We’ve all seen people texting or talking while behind the wheel get in or almost get in an accident. Sooner or later, if you are distracted while driving, it will happen to you.
Do your part to stay safe on the road and make it your resolution to be a safe driver in 2014. Here are three ways you can do your part to keep our roads safe in the coming year:
- Do not text and drive. Today, more than 15 people will be killed and more than 1,200 people will be injured in car accidents caused by a distracted driver. Texting is the leading cause of distracted driving. Drivers who text and drive spend 400 percent less time looking at the road compared to drivers who do not text while driving. Other research shows that drivers who text and drive are at least four times more likely to crash. Each year in Texas alone, distracted driving due to cell phone use is the cause of more than 16,000 deaths. Put down your cell phone and focus on the road.
- Do not drink and drive. Texas leads the nation in drunk driving deaths. Each year, there are nearly five drunk driving deaths per 100,000 Texans. Drunk driving accidents and deaths caused by drunk driving are avoidable. If you plan to consume alcohol, choose a designated driver before you go out. Whether or not you choose to drink, avoiding late night driving is another way you can avoid being the victim of a drunk driving accident.
- Watch for pedestrians. Pedestrian accidents account for nearly 60,000 traffic deaths each year. Many pedestrian accidents occur in pedestrian crosswalks and school zones. The people at greatest risk for being hit while crossing a street include children and the elderly. Statistics show that 41 percent of pedestrian accidents happen between 3 and 4 p.m., when children are getting off school buses and crossing streets in school zones.When driving in a school zone or area of heavy pedestrian traffic, put down your cell phone. Many states, including Texas, ban the use of cell phones in active school zones. Abide by the speed limit at all times, especially in active school zones or crosswalk areas. Teach your children the importance of paying attention while crossing the street. By following crosswalk traffic laws and educating young children about crosswalk safety, we can surely reduce the number of pedestrian deaths this year.
By eliminating distracted driving and drunk driving, thousands of lives could be saved every year. Keep yourself and your family safe and make a commitment to keep your focus on the road while driving.
If you have been seriously injured or lost a family member in a car accident, contact The Law Offices of Tim O’Hare for a free consultation with a Dallas personal injury attorney.
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