Distracted driving is a growing concern that is putting the lives of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians at risk. Distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes the attention and focus of the driver away from driving and the road ahead. These distractions can come in many forms, and their impact on road safety can be severe. In this post, we will dive deeper into some of the most common forms of distracted driving and how they can impact road safety.
Texting and Driving
When a driver is texting, they are taking their eyes, hands, and minds off the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), you are six times more likely to end up in an accident when texting behind the wheel, compared to drunk driving. Texting while in control of a car is also illegal in many US states, and drivers who violate these laws can face expensive fines or even jail time.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Perhaps the most well-known form of distracted driving is getting behind the wheel while drunk or high on drugs. When a driver is under the influence, their judgment, reaction time, ability to focus on the road and control the vehicle are impaired. Driving under the influence is illegal throughout the US and can lead to criminal charges, fines, a loss of one’s driver’s license, or even jail time.
Eating and Drinking While Driving
Eating food or taking a sip from your water bottle while driving might seem harmless, but it can be more dangerous than you might think. When a driver is eating or drinking, they take their hands off the wheel and their eyes off the road. This can lead to accidents, especially if the driver spills a hot drink or drops a piece of food into the car. According to the NHTSA, eating and drinking while driving has the potential to be just as dangerous as texting while behind the wheel.
Talking on the Phone While Driving
Talking on the phone while driving is another type of distracted driving that can be very dangerous. While hands-free devices and kits are now available to make it easier for drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and their concentration on the road during a phone call, it’s important to use these with care as there is still always the potential to be distracted by the conversation. Some studies have found that being on the phone while driving can cause drivers to miss important visual and audio cues, leading to accidents.
Using GPS While Driving
GPS devices including plug-in, built-in, and smartphone GPS apps have become a popular tool used by many drivers today to help them find their way around. While there’s a lot to be said for GPS tools that can read out directions to you as you are driving, it’s important to always exercise care and caution when using these tools. Wherever possible, set the GPS device to give you auditory directions as otherwise, you will be taking your eyes off the road to read the directions. This can lead to accidents, especially if you miss a turn or take your eyes off the road for too long. Additionally, you should always make sure that the GPS device is set up before you set off, rather than putting the destination in as you are driving.
Using Social Media While Driving
The use of social media by drivers who are behind the wheel is a growing concern. Many drivers are tempted to check their social media accounts while driving, and some even upload photos or videos of themselves driving to social media apps like Instagram or Snapchat. This can be a very dangerous situation, as when a driver is using social media, their eyes are diverted from the road and their mind is not on the task of driving.
Personal Grooming While Driving
Another dangerous form of distracted driving is engaging in personal grooming when driving. Carrying out tasks like brushing your teeth, shaving, or even applying makeup while behind the wheel is dangerous. While it might seem like a harmless way to multi-task and save time while stuck in traffic, it’s ultimately an activity that can lead to accidents, as you are no longer focusing on the road ahead.
Driving With Several Passengers
Driving with passengers can be challenging, particularly for young or inexperienced drivers and is often quite anxiety-inducing. Passengers can be a source of distraction for the driver, especially if they are loud or disruptive. Talking to passengers can take the attention of the driver away from the road and lead to them missing important visual and audio cues. Because of this, it’s crucial to exercise caution when driving with passengers and remember that as the driver, you are responsible for their safety. Set ground rules before beginning your trip, including asking passengers to refrain from being loud or disruptive and making sure that they are wearing seatbelts.
The Impact on Road Safety
Distracted driving can have a devastating impact on road safety. It was a key factor in almost 10% of fatal crashes throughout the US in 2019, according to the NHTSA, with over three thousand people losing their lives in distracted driving accidents. Distracted driving also leads to thousands of serious and life-changing injuries each year.
Along with the human toll, distracted driving also has a stark economic impact. Accidents related to distracted driving cost the US almost $130 billion each year in lost wages, medical expenses, and property damage.
Seeking Legal Help After a Distracted Driving Accident
If you have been involved in an accident with a distracted driver, it’s important to seek the right legal representation to protect your rights and help you navigate the complexities of seeking compensation for your injuries and damages. At Cassisi Law Firm, our experienced and skilled personal injury lawyers can help you navigate the legal process and build a strong case on your behalf.
It’s important to act quickly and seek legal representation as soon as possible after a distracted driving accident. We can help!
Visit our office at 10208 101st Ave Ozone Park, NY 11416.
Call now for a free consultation on (718) 441-5050.