When a driver doesn’t give the road their undivided attention, the road can be a deathly place to be.
Every year, fatal distracted driving accidents happen. In fact, 8% of all deaths caused by car accidents in 2018 involved a distracted driver. In other words, nearly 3,000 people died because a driver thought multitasking was acceptable behavior behind the wheel. To prevent these kinds of accidents, it’s important for drivers to understand what a distraction on the road entails. It’s also crucial to realize that deciding to send a text or eat a snack isn’t safe while driving, even if you’ve successfully done so in the past.
Types of distracted driving
Distracted driver prevention begins with understanding what being a distracted driver looks like. Essentially, there are three different types of distractions drivers can come across:
- Manual ones that involve a driver taking their hands of the wheel to perform an activity
- Visual ones that cause a driver to look anywhere else other than the road
- Cognitive ones that take a driver’s mind off the road
Some common manual distractions include cell phone use, using a GPS, eating, grooming and changing music. Many manual tasks that drivers take on in addition to driving also require a driver to look away from the road. While cognitive distractions can involve daydreaming or being more absorbed in a phone call or conversation with a passenger than the activity of driving.
Danger of distractions
You may have heard those involved in car accidents admitting that the crash happened so fast that they can’t remember what led to the accident. The reality is you can cover a lot of ground while travelling at a decently fast pace. You can drive the entire length of a football field in five seconds when you go 55 mph. This means that looking away for five seconds can cause a driver to miss several hazards on the road — like the unpredictable braking of a vehicle or a red light. These are hazards both new and experienced drivers would completely miss if they weren’t paying attention to the road. Plus, even the smallest tasks usually take more than five seconds to complete, making distracted driving even more dangerous.
Since distracted driving accidents can happen to anyone, there are personal injury attorneys that dedicate their work to helping accident victims who suffer injuries because of negligent drivers. There is compensation that you can seek if you’ve recently been involved in car crash.