Dangerous Driving Habits: How to Prevent Personal Injury Accidents
Dangerous driving habits are a leading cause of personal injury accidents and deaths in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that more than 32,000 people are killed and over two million are injured every year in car and motorcycle accidents.
Primarily, there are two unsafe driving habits that contribute to the most instances of death and personal injury in motor vehicle accidents:
- Driving While Distracted
- Driving Under the Influence
Stay safe on the road by reading the following facts and helpful tips.
Driving While Distracted
Anything that takes attention away from the road is considered a distracted driving habit and can easily lead to an accident and personal injury. Distracted driving habits commonly include texting, eating, or talking on the phone. It’s estimated that 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while driving during the day.
In 2015, distracted drivers in the U.S. were responsible for crashes that resulted in 391,000 personal injuries and 3,477 deaths.
Tips for Focusing on the Road
- Put your cell phone away – Out of sight, out of mind. If you keep your phone in a purse on the passenger side floor or anywhere that it is tucked away from your view, you will be less tempted to reach for it while you are driving.
- Keep food out of the car – It can be tempting to finish your breakfast while driving into work, but this makes you less attentive to the road and risks the chance of added distraction if there is a spill.
- Avoid multitasking – What may seem like a time-saver while you are driving can be the cause of all your distraction. Make sure everything is taken care of before you get behind the wheel to avoid being negligent on the road.
Local Distracted Driving Laws
As of July 1, 2015, it is illegal to use electronic devices while operating a car in New Hampshire. Also known as the “hands-free law,” these prohibited devices include:
- Cell phones
- MP3 players
- GPS devices
All Massachusetts drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. However, there is no restriction on cell phone use for making phone calls, except for novice drivers and bus drivers.
Driving Under the Influence
One of the most dangerous driving habits is driving while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol. In 2013, one in three car accident deaths in the U.S. were a result of drunk driving.
Alcohol-impaired accidents accounted for 10,265 deaths in 2015, which is one-third of all traffic-related fatalities in the U.S. Every day, 28 people in the U.S. die in accidents caused by alcohol-impaired drivers, equating to one death every 51 minutes.
For motorcyclists killed in accidents in 2015, 27% had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of at least 0.08%.
The Effects of Alcohol on Driving
Drugs and alcohol will affect everyone differently, but the most common side effects based on BAC include:
0.02% BAC (About 2 alcoholic beverages)
- Reduced ability to multitask
- Decline in visual functions
0.08% BAC (About 4 alcoholic beverages)
- Short-term memory loss
- Decreased perception
0.15% BAC (About 7 alcoholic beverages)
- Impairment in vehicle control
- Substantial deficiency in visual and auditory information processing
Local Drunk Driving Laws
Massachusetts and New Hampshire use BAC levels to determine if drivers are operating vehicles under the influence. The following levels are the limits in both states:
- 08% or higher for drivers 21 years old or older operating regular passenger vehicles
- 04% or higher for drivers operating commercial vehicles
- 02% or higher for drivers younger than 21 years old
After more than 24 years representing personal injury victims in car and motorcycle accidents, Sherman Law has seen the consequences of dangerous driving habits first-hand. If you have sustained injuries because of an accident, contact our firm for a free case review.
Dangerous Driving Habits
Dangerous driving habits are the leading cause of personal injury and death in the U.S. The number of people killed or injured every year in car and motorcycle accidents is staggering.
Driving While DistractedDistracted driving involves operating a motor vehicle while engaged in other activities like texting, eating, or talking on the phone. It is estimated that 660,000 drivers use electronic devices while driving during the day.
In 2015 alone, distracted drivers in the U.S. were
responsible for crashes that caused: