While every driver is encouraged to stay alert and put their phone away whenever they are behind the wheel, the tragic fact is that this doesn't always happen. Whenever we get on the road and look at the drivers around us, it doesn't take long before we spot someone looking down at a phone in their lap, holding the phone in front of them or absent-mindedly chatting away on it.
There is no doubt that distracted driving is dangerous, but we see it all the time. This disconnect between what we know and what we do is certainly cause for concern, which is why extensive efforts are being made to stop distracted driving. For example, this month has been named Distracted Driving Awareness Month in South Carolina and across the U.S.
All month long, agencies and safety advocacy groups across the country will be focused on trying to further spread the message that distractions behind the wheel - particularly those that involve a cellphone - have the potential to cause significant damage.
Any time we take our eyes or attention away from the road, even when it's just for a few seconds, we run the risk of missing critical cues that would allow us to avoid a crash. So every time a person checks email, updates Facebook, reads a texts or scrolls through a website on a phone while driving, he or she is putting the lives of every motorist on the road in danger.
This month, we hope every driver thinks twice before reaching for their phone to text, email or chat. That one choice could prove to be a life or death decision, and we urge every person to err on the side of safety.
Unfortunately, there are people who will go on thinking that using a phone while driving is not that dangerous; accidents can and will still happen thanks to distracted driving. While we hope everyone can avoid these accidents this month, if they do happen, victims and their families should take seriously their right to hold the liable driver accountable for the damages suffered.