What is Distracted Driving?
Simply put, a distracted driver is anyone focused on something other than operating their vehicle safely. Distracted drivers could be focused on texting, talking on the phone, a GPS device, a map, food, applying makeup or a variety of other activities. According to recent studies, distracted drivers may even be categorized as “impaired.” In other words, an individual texting behind the wheel of a car could easily be as dangerous as someone driving drunk. Distracted driving is a pervasive issue in the United States, causing a multitude of automobile wrecks across the nation every year. Many of these accidents result in injuries – even death. If you or a loved one has suffered because another driver wasn’t paying attention to the road, contact an attorney from Zinda Law Group today – you may be entitled to compensation.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), cell phone use was reported in 18% of distracted driving fatalities last year. Additionally, young people are at a higher risk of becoming distracted behind the wheel of a car. Why? There are several possible reasons. Young drivers do not have the same amount of driving experience as adults. Thus, they may not have developed the same attention span. Similarly, young people have most likely grown up surrounded by electronic devices and may find it difficult to put them down while driving.
According to a survey conducted by the NHTSA, young drivers are two to three times more likely than older drivers to read or send text messages and emails while driving. Some of the most common forms of distraction involve talking to other passengers and adjusting the car radio. Although neither one of these behaviors is illegal, they can take the driver’s attention away from the road and cause an accident. Other common distractions include:
- Making phone calls
- Accepting phone calls
- Interacting with children in the back seat
- Using music players
According to the survey, many drivers don’t believe that talking on the phone actually affects their driving habits. In reality, talking on the phone is dangerous and may cause the driver to drift out of their lane or off the road.
Manual, Visual and Mental Distractions
Of course, cell phones aren’t the only thing that distracts drivers. In fact, there are three ways that a driver can be distracted behind the wheel of a car:
- Whether you realize it or not, a driver doesn’t actually have to take his/her eyes off the road to be distracted. Mental distraction refers to anything that keeps the driver from focusing on the road. For example, if a driver is engaged in a conversation with a passenger, he/she may be distracted.
- In order to drive safely, motorists use their hands, legs, arms and feet to operate their vehicles. Any distraction that physically occupies these functions is called a manual distraction. Simply put, anything that takes the driver’s hands off the wheel is a manual distraction.
- A visual distraction is anything that causes the driver to take his/her eyes off the road. Many distractions, such as driving while texting, are visually, manually and mentally distracting. Visual distractions are extremely dangerous and can easily cause a fatal accident.
Zinda Law Group
At the firm, we are dedicated to helping people. If you or a loved one has been hurt because of a distracted driver, contact us as soon as possible. Every year, thousands of people suffer because of careless or negligent drivers. Our car accident attorneys believe that negligent drivers should be held responsible for their actions. Distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable. To see what our personal injury lawyers can do for your case, call our office today at 800-863-5312 and schedule a free case consultation.