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Working Together to Stop Distracted Driving

May 18, 2017

Traffic fatalities in Michigan have risen 14.5 percent from 2012 to 2016, and distracted driving may be a cause.  

In a collaborative effort to raise awareness of this growing problem, Bronson Hospital and the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KPS) hosted a mock trauma event at Mayors’ Riverfront Park on Saturday, April 29.

The event simulated the consequences of distracted driving and showed the public what a crash scene can look like. Our team of personal injury attorneys, along with other community partners like Life EMS Ambulance and West Michigan Air Care, were proud to support the event.

The realistic crash simulation allowed attendees to experience the dire consequences of distracted driving firsthand. KPS officers demonstrated how crash victims are extricated from a damaged vehicle using a saw. Life EMS paramedics and EMTs rescued actors portraying crash victims from the vehicles.

The event capped off Distracted Driving Awareness month, an observance created by the National Safety Council.

Texting while driving has been illegal in Michigan since 2010, and can carry a fine up to $200. In other states the fine can be as high as $10,000. Receiving a ticket for texting and driving may also increase one’s insurance premiums by as much as 20-30 percent.

While texting is one of the most common driving distractions, adjusting music, using a map, and other mobile phone functions are causes of needless injury and death.

Top causes of distracted driving

  1. Texting
  2. Driving while tired
  3. Personal grooming
  4. Talking on a cell phone
  5. Reaching for items while driving

Source: The Oakland Press, Distracted driving eyed as cause for rising Michigan traffic fatalities, April 28, 2017

As personal injury attorneys, we often see firsthand the tragedy that results from distracted driving accidents. The number of crashes involving distracted driving has grown from 5,353 in 2014 to 7,516 in 2015, according to the Office of Highway Planning. It’s the responsibility of the entire community to take a stand against distracted driving and put a stop to this growing trend.

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