How distracted drivers are putting emergency responders at risk
Emergency responders are facing greater risks of getting injured or killed in the age of smart phones. That’s because an alarming number of drivers in the United States take photos or shoot video of responders who are helping people involved in a fire or crash. According to a National Safety Council (NSC) article, these distracted drivers are even taking pictures or video of police making routine traffic stops.
The NSC and the Emergency Responder Safety Institute released a survey that revealed a whopping 71 percent of U.S. drivers take photos or videos when they observe an emergency vehicle. Their reckless actions put not just the emergency responders at risk. Anyone sharing the road can become a victim of these careless motorists after a serious distracted driving accident.
How common are distracted driving accidents involving emergency responders?
The survey found that over 10 percent of drivers said they either hit or nearly struck a first responder or emergency vehicle stopped on or close to the side of the road.
Drivers admitted they started fiddling with their mobile devices when they noticed emergency responders. They would do tasks such as:
- Post to social media (60 percent)
- Send an email about what’s happening on the road (66 percent)
According to the survey, most drivers admitted that distracted motorists are dangerous and put the lives of first responders at risk – even though many of these drivers are engaging in the behavior they find abhorrent.
The survey revealed that during routine trips, drivers engaged in risky behavior less than when they saw responders.
How to develop safe driving habits
Many drivers who are responsible and law-abiding citizens nevertheless can’t seem to resist the temptation of their smart phones. There are simple ways to stop the dangerous habit of checking a phone while behind the wheel:
- Keep the device out of reach
- Download an app that blocks incoming text messages or phone calls. Some apps will send an automatic response to inform the sender that you are driving
- Turn the phone to silent (and make sure the vibrate function is off)
- If sending a message is absolutely necessary, pull over and stop in a safe location
You may practice safe driving habits and avoid your smart phone, but what happens if someone else causes an accident and you or a loved one is injured? An accident can turn your life upside-down. You may face expensive medical bills. The hospital stay or doctor visits may have an impact on your job.
The insurance company may try to convince you that fighting for the settlement you deserve is not worth it. That’s not fair. That’s why you need an experienced personal injury attorney at your side.
In central Florida, many accident victims have relied on the Law Offices of Brent C. Miller to help them obtain the compensation they need. You can trust us to handle your claim. Contact us today to learn how we can help.