Taking your eyes off the road while driving can have disastrous results. In just one year, nearly 3,500 Americans were killed due to documented distracted driving incidents. Nearly 400,000 people were injured in such accidents. What constitutes distracted driving, and why is it such a huge problem?
Examples of Distracted Driving
The list of things people do while driving is astonishing, One-third of those surveyed confessed to changing shoes or clothing while driving, and many admitted to completing homework while behind the wheel. Other issues include:
- Petting animals;
- Typing into a GPS;
- Talking to people in the back seat;
- Talking on cell phones;
- Spilling drinks;
- Changing CD’s.
More Distracted Driving than Ever
The number of distractions that interfere with driving is greater than ever. Eating, talking on the phone, texting, and interactions with passengers are all commonplace these days. Anyone who spends time on the road sees examples of distracted driving every single day.
Distracted driving can include egregious acts like applying makeup or texting while driving, or can be minor activities like changing the radio station. Any activity that takes your concentration off of the road can be the culprit behind a distracted driving accident. Recent research indicates that if you take your eyes off the road for just two seconds, your eyes do not re-adjust to the road immediately, missing hazards that would otherwise be easily seen. At any rate, a car traveling at freeway speeds covers half the distance of a football field in just two seconds. Imagine the disaster that could occur in that brief time span. One study indicates that a two-second distraction increases the possibility accidents by 24 times.
Perhaps one of the most serious distractions while driving is texting. Research finds that your eyes leave the road for an average of about five seconds while texting. And studies show that nearly one in five teens uses a cell phone while driving. This, despite research that warns that texting behind the wheel is as dangerous as being a drunk driver. The risk is especially dire for young and inexperienced drivers. In particular, drivers who’ve had a license for six months or less are at high risk of having an accident due to distractions in the car.
While you cannot control other drivers, you can definitely reduce your chances of being in an accident or experiencing serious injuries by following a few common sense rules:
- Stay focused on the road;
- Drive defensively; and
- Stay buckled up.
After an Accident
If you are unfortunate enough to be the victim of a distracted driver accident and suffer severe consequences, a local personal injury attorney can help you recoup costs related to your injuries. Contact Dan Pruitt Injury Law Firm in Greenville for a free consultation today.