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Cell phones aren’t the only source of distracted driving

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Distracted driving is one of the most pressing safety issues for modern drivers. Most people have smartphones, and they may have a hard time paying attention to their surroundings because of how addicted they are to their devices.

People looking down at their phones can miss sudden changes in traffic conditions. People holding their phones may not have a proper grip on the steering wheel. Obviously, it is quite dangerous to text while driving or otherwise use a mobile device while at the wheel. Even drivers who make a point of avoiding digital distraction could still become distracted on the road. There are numerous sources of distraction other than mobile phones that can affect someone’s ability to drive safely.

What constitutes distracted driving?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), distracted driving occurs whenever someone takes their eyes off of the road, their hands off of the wheel or their mind off of their surroundings. Obviously, using a mobile phone is a dangerous distraction because it causes all three types of distracted driving.

Many other activities can also impair someone’s ability to focus on traffic conditions and respond appropriately. Conversations with other people are a leading cause of distracted driving. Parents with young children in the vehicle with them may have a particularly difficult time focusing on their surroundings. Those carpooling with coworkers or taking a road trip with friends may also focus more on conversation and eye contact than traffic.

Eating and drinking while driving are also common sources of distraction. People become so focused on their coffee or their cheeseburger that they fail to react to changing traffic conditions. If they spill their food or beverage, that could increase their risk of making the wrong choice in traffic. Daydreaming is another common source of distraction. While someone may appear fully focused on the road, their mind could be elsewhere.

Why distracted driving is dangerous

Road conditions can change in a matter of seconds. A child could chase a ball out into the road. Someone in another vehicle may come to a sudden stop due to an issue with their vehicle. Drivers need to pay attention and maintain manual control over their vehicles at all times in case something happens. Distracted drivers have increased reaction times and may overlook key details in traffic.

Holding another driver accountable for causing a motor vehicle collision due to distraction can potentially lead to financial compensation. Both personal injury lawsuits and insurance claims can help cover the costs of a distracted driving wreck when innocent victims of these collisions speak up.