Every day, millions of Americans hit the roadways to commute to work, school, and other destinations. All too often, however, those destinations remain elusive, as collisions preempt a safe arrival. In many instances, human error is the cause of those accidents. In the unfortunate event that you have fallen victim to an accident that was caused by another driver’s distractions on the road, seeking the counsel of a local personal injury attorney may be a smart move.
Defining Distracted Driving
Distractions come in all forms, and most drivers have been guilty of succumbing to distractions at one point or another. Who of us hasn’t reached into the back seat to calm a wailing baby, or lurched in response to a spilled cup of coffee? It seems that staying focused on the road ahead is nearly impossible for many, yet research indicates that many distractions can, and should be avoided. The CDC defines distractions as anything that takes one’s attention away from driving. They outline three primary types of distractions that can be dangerous:
Cognitive distractions are those that put the mental concentration of driving second to other thoughts. Worrying about that meeting at work, trying to remember whether or not your turned off the iron, or studying for that upcoming biology test are all examples of things drivers think about when they should be concentrating on the perils of the road.
Equally common are manual distractions, those that result in one’s hands leaving the wheel to deal with other issues, A prime example is texting, though eating, drinking, petting your dog, and other manual distractions occur all the time.
Finally, visual distractions can be particularly dangerous. When a driver is more focused on the scenery, or on the faces of others in the vehicle, unforeseen hazards can lead to serious consequences.
Consequences of Distracted Driving
Every single day, the CDC reports that about 9 individuals are killed in accidents as a result of distracted driving. Another 1,000 or more experience injuries, and the number of vehicles that suffer property damage is even higher. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that distracted driving is responsible for thousands of deaths in a typical year.
Avoiding Cell Phone Distractions
As many people realize, cell phones are one of the primary distractions that impact driving safety. Unfortunately, many drivers are simply unable to ignore a ringing phone, signaling a call, text or email is incoming. Experts suggest a number of strategies to address the problem:
- Put your phone out of reach while behind the wheel;
- Turn your phone off, or at least put it on silent, while driving;
- Install a phone safety app that will take your call and explain that you will return it when you’re not behind the wheel.
In the Aftermath
Have you or a loved one suffered serious consequences as a result of another driver’s carelessness behind the wheel? At the Derek L. Hall, PC, our Jackson auto accident attorneys understand your plight, and will go to bat on your behalf. Contact us today in Jackson to schedule a free, confidential consultation.