Many of us don’t think twice about looking at the phone while driving, but even taking your eyes off the road for a second can be deadly. And texting or calling isn’t the only type of driver distraction. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists three types of driver distractions:
1. Cognitive, which is taking your mind off driving and the road
2. Manual, which is when you take your hands off the wheel
3. Visual, which is when you take your eyes off the road
Distractions include things such as eating, putting on makeup or using the navigational system in your vehicle. Texting and emailing are big problems because they combine all three types of distractions. You take your eyes off the road while looking at the phone. Your hands are busy trying to type a message, and your mind is thinking about the message, not about the conditions on the road.
Driver distractions are a big problem. According to the CDC, from 2011 to 2013, injuries from motor vehicle accidents in which the driver was distracted went up by 10 percent. In 2013, about 20 percent of the vehicle crashes were due to distracted driving. While young adults and drivers under 20 have the highest proportion of distracted-related crashes, the problem is not limited to the newest drivers. Many federal agencies have banned the use of cell phones and other electronic devices when driving on the job. In North Carolina, all drivers are banned from texting while driving. Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from all cell phone use, even hands-free talking. Adult drivers may talk on the phone when behind the wheel, but your first priority should always be the road.
Distracted drivers aren’t only a problem on the road. The National Safety Council estimates that about 60,000 people each year are hurt in parking lots due to distracted driving. During the holidays, this problem gets much worse because there is more competition for parking spaces. It’s recommended that drivers crack open a window to hear what’s happening in the parking lot along with being more attentive.
If you’ve been in an accident caused by distracted driving, it’s a good idea to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney. Lawyers have the knowledge and experience to find the best outcome for your case. You deserve compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and physical property damage. An attorney’s goal is simply to help you find the best possible outcome following an accident.