Each year, April is commemorated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This month is thus a very good time for drivers in Northeast Wisconsin to educate themselves about the dangers of distracted driving. It is also a good time for them to promise not to engage in risky behaviors like texting and driving, playing with the radio and the like.

A few statistics may help reinforce the seriousness of the country’s ongoing distracted driving epidemic. Experts estimate that 9 people die across the country daily in crashes that happened because of distracted driving. Additionally, 100 people get significantly hurt in car accidents related to distracted driving.

The problem does not seem to be simply with handheld phones. Many people die each year in crashes that involved a distracted driver who was using a hands-free device. This makes sense in light of the science behind distracted driving.

Science demonstrates that when one is trying to drive and use any sort of phone or similar device, activity in the area of the brain most essential to driving safely decreases by up to 33 percent. The end result is that motorists who are distracted are quite likely not will not notice up to 50 percent of the objects in front of them.

The reality is that, in order for a driver to be safe, he or she should stay off of electronic devices altogether. After all, safe driving requires the full dedication of one’s mind and eyes, as well as one’s hands.

Drivers who choose to ignore this advice put their own lives and the lives of others at risk. If they do cause an accident because of their distracted driving, then their victims can hold them legally accountable for the victims’ injuries.