With so many distractions in our modern world, there’s no wonder it causes so many accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Today we are more tapped into the world around us than ever before, and with that world of possibilities comes countless ways to distract yourself from the world right in front of you. Between social media, apps, and texting alone, there are a million ways to take your mind off of things. While these can be a great escape from boring doctor’s offices or conference meetings, they have no place in the driver’s seat. With 80% of accidents being caused by a driver who wasn’t paying attention, it’s safe to say that distracted driving is an epidemic that is taking people from their loved ones every day.
The hard truth is that distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accident fatalities around the world. In fact, every single day, at least nine Americans die from distracted driving crashes, with another 100 or so being injured. These numbers don’t have to be so high. With accidents like these, the saddest part is knowing that all of these tragedies could be avoided. As opposed to a traditional car crash where it was a true accident by definition, these are caused by nothing other than pure negligence. As injury attorneys, we know that any accident caused by the negligence of another party should qualify a person to receive reparations for their pain and suffering. Just where they fall on the scale is determined by the type of distraction that was going on.
The Three Types of Distracted Driving
The human brain is a machine that has been wondered about since mankind had its first coherent thoughts. In this way, we still have trouble understanding it. When a person gets distracted while driving, it can be for a number of reasons. One kind of distraction is cognitive distraction. This type of interruption comes when a driver’s mind wanders away from what is right in front of them. This can happen for a number of reasons, including what you’re listening to.
If you’re playing smooth jazz during an hours-long car ride, it could become easy to let your mind wander from the monotony of the road. This can become more dangerous than you think as listening to music has been shown to decrease a driver’s brain power from focusing on the road by 40%. Cognitive distraction deals with the driver not staying focused on the road ahead, which can quickly result in a serious accident. With even a few seconds of this type of distraction taking place, lives can be put at risk. Roadways are a constant bustle of activity. Even when it’s late at night and they’re more sparsely populated, there are still obstacles that can appear suddenly.
The second type is manual distraction. This variation of distraction occurs when a driver takes their hands off the steering wheel. As most drivers know, this has the potential to happen quite often. While keeping your eyes glued to the road and taking a sip of water isn’t the end of the world, there’s a fine line between what qualifies as being distracted. For example, many parents find themselves at risk of manual distraction when they have young children in the car. Between reaching for snacks and breaking up a fight between your children, studies show that driving with kids in the car takes a driver’s attention off the road for around 21% of the car ride, which can quickly get out of hand. Even further, people who eat or drink while driving are 80% more likely to get into a wreck.
Individuals who are eating, texting, smoking, or fiddling with the radio — among a thousand other things you could be doing instead of keeping your hands on the wheel — are more likely to lose control of the car and injure an unsuspecting party. That’s why it’s important to go hands-free with your wireless services and keep the tacos in the bag until you get home. If you choose not to, it could very well end in an accident you won’t be able to take back.
Lastly, you have visual distractions. Inherently, these types of distractions may be the most common culprit. With no limit on the types of sights and sounds you will encounter while you drive, there’s no telling what may take your eyes off the surroundings you should be worried about. Between roadside accidents, wildlife, or even an attractive motorist at a stoplight, there is no shortage of potential problematic distractions. These types of distractions can accompany the others on this list to put you in a potentially dangerous situation.
One of the most common types of distractions that combines all the ones we’ve listed is cell phone use. It’s been shown as many as 660,000 drivers use their cell phones every day while driving, and those are just the ones we know about. Anybody who has ever driven for more than a few minutes in a major city knows that this number is likely much higher, somewhere in the millions. Even so, that doesn’t mean it’s okay. If you haven’t done it, you’re probably lying, and that’s the problem.
There was a time not too long ago where this problem was non-existent. Nowadays, there is an endless stream of entertainment and conversations to be had at your fingertips during every moment of the day. If you decide to indulge, even for a moment, you may not know you’ve made a mistake until it’s too late. Studies show that when a driver is sending a text, they take their eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds. When they’re driving at even moderate or slow speeds, the driver can travel the length of a football field essentially with their eyes closed.
If It Happened, We Can Try to Prove It
There’s no limit to the harm that distracted drivers can cause, from hitting pedestrians to causing other vehicles to crash into one another. But one thing is for certain: It’s not fair to the other drivers on the road. If we want to live in a safe world where we are not in danger of falling victim to these types of negligent actions, then we all have to do our part. If you or a loved one has been injured or even killed in an accident that you believe was caused by distracted driving, we have the know-how and experience to help prove your case and get you the compensation you deserve.
Here at Blase Inzina Injury Attorneys, our goal is to prove that distracted driving was a significant factor in your accident. We can do that by:
- Using their cell phone data to prove when and where a call was placed
- Using their cell phone data to show when a text message was sent and received
- Using witness testimonies
- Viewing surveillance to show a record of their habits when they drive
But it doesn’t stop there. If you or a loved one was injured or harmed in any way in a distracted driving accident, reach out to us today. We’ll be standing by to help get you the compensation you deserve at (337) 347-7177. Together, we can fight to get you justice.