The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Distracted drivers cause hundreds of thousands of auto accident injuries every year.

Distracted DrivingDriving has become such a common part of everyday life in America that sometimes it seems people forget just how dangerous it can be. They start treating their daily commute as a time to eat their breakfast, finish their morning grooming routine, or catch up on phone calls and emails. What they do not seem to realize is that the amount of time saved by this kind of multitasking in the car does not justify the risks that distracted drivers pose to themselves and others.

Types of Distractions

In 2012 alone, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers. This figure no doubt includes examples of all three of the main types of distractions:

  • Visual Distractions take your eyes off the road
  • Manual Distractions take your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive Distractors take your mind off of driving

An example of a visual distraction might be reading a map or watching a video. Common manual distractions include eating and drinking. Purely cognitive distractions are in some ways the most insidious, because they are harder to recognize. You can be facing forward with your hands clamped at 10 and 2, not even listening to the radio or chatting with a passenger, and if your mind wanders too much you may still end up being so distracted you have an accident.

Texting is One of the Worst Distractions

The most dangerous distractions involve a combination of visual, manual, and cognitive functions. A prime example is texting—you have to look at the screen to read your texts, manipulate the keyboard to type a new text, and think about things besides the road in order to decide what to say. Using social media or even GPS can involve similarly complex distractions. The longer the attention is diverted from driving by these types of distractions, the greater the risk of an accident.

Teens and Texting

According to a CDC survey, half of American high school students text or email while driving. This is dangerous enough as it is, but to make matters worse indulging in this risky behavior is linked to something even riskier—drunk driving. Students who text and drive are almost twice as likely to get into a car with a drunk driver and five times as likely to drink and drive themselves.

Liability for Distracted Driving

If you have been in an accident caused by a distracted driver, you may be able to hold them liable for your injuries and losses through a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced auto accident injury attorney like Fernando D. Vargas can help you document your damages, prove liability for the accident, and secure compensation. Contact him today for a free initial consultation.

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