Distracted driving is an issue that greatly affects us all personally. It also affects our children, parents, and other loved ones. Distracted driving is a serious concern in Rhode Island and beyond. It is a major cause of the almost 40,000 motor vehicle deaths that occurred last year in the United States. Tapalian Law is a Providence personal injury law firm that sees the aftermath of car crashes every day. Distractions such as cell phones, texting, and GPS systems, are all too often the cause of a crash that can result in death or tragic personal injury. Perhaps most disturbing is that distracted driving deaths are completely preventable. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and to bring awareness to this serious matter, Rhode Island recently joined the first-ever coordinated advertising campaign against distracted driving.
“Just Drive New England”
In an effort to promote National Distracted Driving Awareness month this April, Rhode Island joined forces with nine other Northeastern states as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the “Just Drive New England” initiative. This campaign will utilize enforcement and education to inform the public of the extreme dangers of distracted driving. Distracted driving can take place in many forms. It may be using a cell phone to talk, text, or send an email, applying makeup, adjusting a music station, chatting with passengers, amongst other distractions while operating a motor vehicle. Driving distracted can be as deadly as drunk driving, speeding, or aggressive driving, according to the Rhode Island State Police. The goal of the “Just Drive New England” campaign is to inform and educate drivers of these dangers and change their driving habits. The National Safety Council shares further information on their website about distracted driving and the “Just Drive” initiative.
Rhode Island Traffic Fatalities Up 63%
Rhode Island automotive fatalities are at their highest since 2008. In a recent Tapalian Law blog, we explored the top causes of fatal car accidents across the country which are speeding, drunk driving, and distracted driving. In addition, pedestrian fatalities in Rhode Island have also increased. In 2017, 21 pedestrians were killed by vehicles in RI. In 2016, there were 14 pedestrian deaths in RI. As of June 1st, Rhode Island law will prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving to curb the number of vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving. Texting while driving is already banned in Rhode Island. It is important for drivers to realize that hands-free phones can also be distracting, and distracted driving can come in many forms including drinking, eating, and chatting with other passengers in the vehicle. Teenagers and new drivers are especially vulnerable to interference. As car accident lawyers, Tapalian Law urges all Rhode Islanders to be aware of the obvious driving distractions while operating an automobile, but also the not so obvious.
Have You Been Hurt by a Distracted Driver?
Seek out the experience of a skilled car accident injury lawyer if a distracted driver has hurt you. If you have been hurt in an auto accident caused by another driver texting, talking on a cell phone, using a GPS, or another type of disruption, you may be eligible to seek compensation for your personal injuries and related expenses. Whether the injuries caused to you were major or minor, you should not suffer alone. Contact distracted driving accident attorney David Tapalian today for a free consultation to determine your rights. Tapalian Law has years of experience helping Providence, East Providence, North Providence, and other Rhode Island and Massachusetts victims get the compensation they deserve. The sooner you contact Tapalian Law for advice, the better we can help you. Call us today at 401-552-5000 or contact us online.
Here are some steps to take if you spot a distracted driver on the road.