Preventing Distracted Driving Means More Than Turning Off Cell Phones
Nearly every state has enacted texting and driving laws, yet NHTSA estimates that more than 354,000 drivers per day hold their cell phone to their ear during daytime hours. Many more motorists use their cell phones for texting, searching the web, reading, playing games, and other activities. While this data explains attempts to curb cell phone use by drivers, this myopic view has diverted attention from other dangerous forms of distracted driving.
Although cell phone use constitutes a particularly egregious form of multi-tasking behind the wheel, many other distractions contribute to the estimated 3,000+ distracted driving deaths and 400,000 distracted driving injury victims each year. Distracted driving encompasses any activity that draws a motorist attention from their driving, such as any of the following:
- Eating or drinking
- Fiddling with a vehicle entertainment or stereo system
- Engaging in conversations with other vehicle occupants
- Adjusting a vehicle navigation system
- Reading a book, magazine, or other material
- Disciplining children in the backseat
- Reaching for an object on the floor or glove compartment
- Handling pets loose in a vehicle
- Eating or drinking
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divides distractions into three different classifications:
Cognitive Distractions: This category of distraction involves any activity that diverts a motorist’s attention from driving. Examples include but are not limited to paying attention to a passenger, daydreaming, and operating hands-free vehicle infotainment systems.
Visual Distractions: This form of distraction includes activities that divert a driver’s eyes from the road. Common forms of this variant of distracted driving include rubbernecking at accidents, applying makeup or combing hair, looking in the glove compartment of a vehicle, and looking down to grab a drink.
Manual Distractions: This term refers to distractions that involve drivers removing their hands from the steering wheel. Typical distractions of this kind include reaching for an object, fetching an item from the glove box, smoking, looking through a purse or wallet, and eating or drinking.
While cell phone use merits significant attention because it involves all three types of distraction, many other distractions also impact drivers at all three levels of distraction. When a driver eats or drinks in a vehicle, for example, this activity can divert a driver’s attention, hands, and eyes from the task of operating a vehicle safely. The magnitude of danger posed by this type of multi-level distraction is revealed by the fact that a vehicle moving at a speed of 55 mph for five seconds can travel the length of a football field. Distractions increase the risk of causing a collision in several ways, including but not limited to the following:
- Increasing reaction time when confronted with hazards
- Causing random variations in speed not justified by road or traffic conditions
- Triggering inadvertent lane departures and deviations
- Lengthening the time that a driver’s eyes are averted from the roadway
- Interfering with a driver’s ability to perform steering or braking adjustments
If you have experienced injuries caused by an inattentive driver, one of our experienced distracted driving accident attorney can review your situation and discuss your potential legal claim for financial compensation.
If your car accident claim is handled by Montlick Injury Attorneys, we will fight hard to recover the most amount of money allowable under Georgia law. If we are unable to obtain a settlement amount the is fair and just, we will be ready to take your case to trial. A favorable ruling could include a substantial jury award. Our accident and injury law firm has recovered Billions of dollars for our clients.
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