Drivers have to ensure they’re in the proper condition to drive. Being impaired or overly tired can negatively impact a person’s ability to drive. Distractions do the same thing.
Distracted driving claims around 3,000 lives each year. Around 20% of those deaths were people who weren’t in a vehicle. Instead, they were walking, biking, or doing something away from a car.
The issue with distracted driving fatalities is that every death was preventable because the drivers should have paid attention. Understanding a bit about distracted driving may help to save lives.
Types of distractions
Three types of distractions can impair a person’s ability to drive.
- Cognitive distractions require you to think about something other than driving.
- Visual distractions make you look somewhere other than the road.
- Manual distractions force you to take your hands off the steering wheel.
Many distractions encompass more than one of these types. Cellphone usage, for example, requires you to hold the phone, think about what’s on the phone, and look at the phone. Other distractions include:
- Talking to other passengers
- Taking care of children
- Manipulating the climate control
- Changing entertainment options
- Eating or drinking
- Putting on makeup or taking care of personal grooming
- Reaching for items in the vehicle
The risks of distracted driving far outweigh the convenience of doing any of these tasks. It’s much better to take care of things when you’re safely stopped. Taking a few minutes longer to get to your destination is beneficial because you have a better chance of getting there safely.
The length of the distraction doesn’t matter
Even short distractions can cause crashes. A vehicle going 55 miles per hour moves the length of a football field in five seconds. That’s plenty of distance to get into a collision. Coincidentally, it takes around 5 seconds to read or send a text message.
Anyone injured in a distracted driving crash should get medical care immediately. It’s possible to seek compensation for the damages you’re dealing with from the collision. State law sets time limits for these matters, so don’t waste time acting.