Causes of Distracted Driving
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Causes of Distracted Driving

Jun 25, 2018 Peddicord & Townsend LLC Car Accident

Have you ever noticed a car drifting over the center lane and then saw that there was a distracted driver on the phone or electronic devices? Whether checking text messages, checking social media, answering a phone call, or simply multitasking on their mobile phones. Almost all drivers can truthfully say this has happened to them, and all of those driving behaviors are dangerous distractions and put the driver and everyone else on the road at risk of motor vehicle crashes which can lead to serious personal injury, or even fatal crashes. This shows how prevalent distracted driving is in this country and the need to raise awareness on these driving behaviors.

There are many reasons why distracted driving is so dangerous. Many risks stem from the fact that the driver’s full attention isn’t on the road and one’s physical abilities aren’t focused on driving, and distracted drivers cannot react as quickly or competently as those who have their full attention on the road.

Many drivers, from novice drivers to those who have been driving a long time, think that they can easily compensate for the distractions. They likely don’t even realize that they are being dangerous. Just about every driver has eaten something or had a sip of a drink while driving. Some have even gone as far as putting on makeup or fixing their hair.

One of the most common distractions is cell phone use. Feeling the need to remain connected is one of the hallmarks of modern society. People expect a rapid response to phone calls, texts and other messages. However, taking care of these while driving is not safe driving and puts driver responsibility in the backseat and leads to driver distraction and car crashes.

Hands-free devices for mobile devices, while allowing any age person, veteran, novice drivers, young drivers and more, can still become a distraction and lead to a car accident.

Composition of Distractions

There are three types of distractions that motorists have to worry about. These are:

  • Visual: taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: thinking about something other than driving

Some activities only impact one of these areas. Others, including cell phone usage, impact all three. No matter how many areas are affected, the distractions can still lead to serious vehicle crashes.

Common Causes of Distracted Driving

There can be many reasons and ways that driver distraction occurs and the full attention shifts from the road to something else. Cell phone use without a hands-free device, text messages, multitasking are part of the leading cause of distracted driving, and leads to dangerous distractions on the road.

Texting While Driving

We’ve all received a text while driving. Hearing the sound of your phone’s text message alert can cause us to want to check that message, almost as an involuntary action.

Checking Social Media While Driving

Similar to hearing your text message alert, hearing your favorite social media platform’s message alert can cause major distractions as you try to see what the latest is on social media.

Answering Phone Calls While Driving

Many think that answering phone calls or talking on the phone while driving is not dangerous, but it absolutely is a distraction and can cause a car accident.

Drowsy Driving

Not getting enough rest can have many kinds of negative impacts on your life, and one of the more deadly is drowsy driving, which can cause someone to have a major reduction in their driving focus and overall driving safety.

Impaired Driving

We understand that there are times and places for celebrations, coming together, and enjoyment – however when you need to operate a motor vehicle, you must plan ahead!

All Drivers Are Impacted

Many people falsely believe that teen drivers are more likely to drive distracted, especially when it comes to cell phone usage. This isn’t the case. Even adult drivers admit to using the phone to check or send a text. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have created reports and information on the effects, and this report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that in 2018 over 2,800 people were killed and over 400,000 were injured due to distracted drivers across the United States.

When you check or send a text, the task requires your attention for an average of five seconds. If a driver takes his or her attention off the road for this amount of time, tragedy can easily occur. During those five seconds, a car that is travelling at 55 miles per hour will move the entire length of a standard football field. This is a lot of distance in which a crash can occur.

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