The spike in traffic fatalities and accidents is often blamed on the use of smartphones. According to the latest data from the Pew Research Center, almost 80 percent of U.S. adults own smartphones. More than 600,000 of those people are operating a smartphone while driving at any given time. Texting and driving have proven to be a dangerous combination, with 78 percent of distracted driving-related crashes attributed to texting drivers. However, dangers from non-texting apps that encourage driver interaction have also arisen. The messaging app Snapchat features a speed filter that tells users how fast they are traveling, which some have argued encourages drivers to travel at unsafe speeds. A man who suffered a traumatic brain injury during a recent collision is suing both the other driver for her recklessness as well as Snapchat for encouraging the teen to drive at unsafe speeds. Waze, a navigation app, rewards users for reporting traffic jams and roadside obstructions while driving. The “Gotta Catch ’Em All” mentality of Pokémon Go has caused accidents when users ignored safety to play the game. Protect yourself and others. Traditionally the six root causes of serious accidents are driver inattention, fatigue, impaired driving, speeding, aggressive driving and adverse weather conditions. With those factors in mind, here are some tips you can use to prevent traffic accidents and protect yourself and others:
Silence and put away all phones for the duration of your drive
Keep your eyes on the road and leave the distractions at hoe
When buying a new or used car, prioritize safety ratings and purchase cars with safety features. Also be sure to run a recall check on your car at SaferCar.gov.
If you are a pedestrian or bicyclist, pay attention to vehicle traffic even if you have the right of way. A distracted driver could mean disaster.
Follow all posted speed limits and wear your seat belt.
Always drive alert, awake and sober.
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