Distracted Driving the New DUI: You Can’t Safely Multitask

A couple of months ago my neighbor had a serious car accident. She was stopped at a red light when a texting teen plowed into her from behind at 35 miles an hour. Without braking. Distracted driving is the new DUI. That’s got the National Transportation Safety Board worried. In an era when communications multitasking is commonplace, can we assure our safety when traveling?

Last year a barge collided with a tour boat in Philadelphia, killing two sightseers and sending 35 others into the Delaware River. The barge pilot was talking on his cell phone at the time. He’d had over 20 calls or texts in the two hours he was on duty.

The head of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration recently said cars aren’t smartphones on wheels.  He’s pushing back against auto manufacturers, who want to put lots of popular (and for them, profitable) communications gadgets into new car models. We’re facing an epidemic of distracted driving.

What is considered a distraction?

What can you do to make sure you’re not distracted? Can you safeguard yourself from distracted drivers? Start by knowing what’s a distraction:

  • Texting while driving
  • Answering cell phones – even hands-free enabled
  • Checking maps, screwing around with your Garmin
  • Old-school multitasking – eating a breakfast sandwich, makeup touch-ups
  • Go to the Federal Communication Commission’s Texting While Driving site for more information

What to do:

  • Just say no – have a no texting policy you obey and enforce on your kids and persons you ride with
  • Know the law – it’s illegal now in many states to use a cell phone in any way while driving except hands-free

By: Arthur Buono

At Maya Murphy, P.C., our experienced team of personal injury attorneys is dedicated to achieving the best results for individuals and their families and loved ones whose daily lives have been disrupted by injury.  Our personal injury attorneys assist clients in New York, Bridgeport, Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Stamford, Westport, and throughout Fairfield County. If you have any questions relating to an automobile accident, driving laws, or a personal injury claim or would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our Westport office by phone at (203) 221-3100 or via e-mail at JMaya@Mayalaw.com