Every year, thousands of people die in preventable distracted driving accidents. In 2020, the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (N.H.T.S.A.) reported that 8 percent of all car crashes nationwide were linked to distracted driving, resulting in 3,142 traffic fatalities. When looking specifically at Connecticut accident statistics, 5,000 crashes in 2020 were attributed to acts of distracted driving.
To help spread awareness of the deadly consequences resulting from distracted driving, the N.H.T.S.A. has deemed April Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This life-saving initiative aims to educate drivers on avoiding distractions behind the wheel while laying down strict penalties for those caught putting others at risk.
U Drive. U Text. U Pay Initiative
A major part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month is the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign. Throughout the months of April, Connecticut will provide outreach services and increased law enforcement to reduce distracted driving behaviors in our communities.
Utilizing billboards, television, radio ads, and social media, local safety advocates will teach communities how to spot driving distractions and the dangers of participating in them. On the roads, law enforcement will be increased throughout the state, watching for drivers who are putting others in harm's way, and stopping the behaviors before they lead to accidents.
Drivers who violate distracted driving laws in Connecticut will be given a $200 fine for the first offense, $375 for the second, and $625 for third and subsequent offenses. More than three offenses can also result in the suspension or revocation of a driver’s license.
What is Distracted Driving?
The N.H.T.S.A. defines distracted driving as performing any act aside from driving while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. These behaviors can include:
- Eating and drinking
- Talking on the phone or to passengers
- Reaching for things in your vehicle
- Texting or scrolling your phone
- Changing the radio station
- Operating your GPS or navigation system
- Applying makeup
One of the most common distracted driving behaviors on American roads is texting and scrolling social media. While drivers can use hands-free options for most communication functions, these features don’t always work, nor are they distraction-free.
If you are speaking to someone through Bluetooth, your brain is only partially focused on the road. Half of your brain is watching the road, but the other half is listening to the conversation, interpreting information, and figuring out how to respond. This reduces alertness vital to spotting road hazards and making quick decisions.
Jacobs & Wallace Connecticut Distracted Driving Accident Attorneys
Distracted driving is never acceptable. It is important to avoid distracting tasks such as texting, eating, or resetting your GPS device to avoid harming yourself or others on the road. If you or someone you love is injured in a car accident involving a distracted driver you need an experienced law firm to represent you. Jacobs & Wallace, PLLC, has decades of experience fighting for the rights of Connecticut’s injured victims. Please contact us today for a FREE case evaluation: 203-332-7700.